Missouri May Allow Students To Carry Firearms On Campus
KANSAS CITY, Mo. —
Missouri House lawmakers have given first-round approval to a measure that would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring guns on college campuses.
It passed 98-42, mostly along party lines.
The bill began as a way for colleges and universities to select certain faculty or staff as designated campus protection officers who carry weapons.
“Giving individuals the ability to protect themselves is absolutely the right direction that we should go,” state Rep. Jered Taylor said.
Taylor, who is a Republican representing Christian County, drafted the final amendment. He said the idea works in other states, and he feels that while it may not prevent mass shootings, it would reduce the number of sexual assaults on campus.
“It is up to individuals to protect themselves. We can’t rely on law enforcement. They are minutes away when your life is being threatened immediately and you need to take action,” Taylor said.
“This is not the way that we should be trying to protect our young people and our schools and colleges,” state Rep. Greg Razer said.
Razer, a Democrat from Kansas City, voted against the bill. He said it is a Band-Aid that does not address the cause of violence in our communities.
“I don’t think 33,000, 18- to 22-year-olds walking around with loaded handguns is the answer to solve our problems,” Razer said.
The Missouri Senate will now decide if the bill should move forward.