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Land mine confiscated at MSU will not be returned to student

Posted at 2:39 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 16:39:49-05

An inactive landmine created a lot of excitement at Montana State University on Tuesday. The device itself wasn’t a threat, but it’s still not being returned to the student.

“Having the fusing system intact does present a danger to whoever is in possession of it. So, we just want to remove that danger and that risk from the community,” said Deputy Marvin Weber with the Lewis and Clark County Bomb Squad.

The landmine was purchased over the internet. But military items can be easily purchased, even right here in Bozeman.

Deputy Weber controlling a machine used to investigate the land mine.

“It’s essentially things for like costumes or gigs like that. But like things like, anything associated with paraphernalia as far as like history goes, it’s still collectible to some folks,” said Gunner Jordan, the assistant manager at Great Northern Pawn.

Jordan says there’s not a big demand for military items in this area, but he still understands why some people want to get their hands on such items.

“A lot of folks, if they do end up with that stuff, it’s simply the history behind it. It’s a part of American history, a part of our past,” said Jordan.

There’s isn’t anything wrong with having the device, but there still have to be certain precautions in place.

“Anything that would be a novelty, military item needs to be first demilitarized. So, whatever process was gone through to actually demilitarize or render safe these particular items obviously had some shortcomings,” Deputy Weber said.

And those shortcomings were what caused the concern. Officials learned about the device being sent to campus after another device started vibrating in a post office in Minnesota.

“The vendor who sold them provided a list of who these were shipped to and then communicated with the people who they were shipped to in terms of a recall, and this address in Montana was identified,” Weber explained.

So you may not find an inactive landmine in Jordan’s store, but you may be able to get your hands on other military items.

“Typically like clothing, like i mentioned earlier, canteens are pretty hot items,” Jordan said.

The landmine was confiscated by the Lewis and Clark County Bomb Squad, who will meet with military personnel to determine what they will do with the device.