Handgun in Holster

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Two bills filed in 2019 in the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives seek to repeal gun-free zone laws, by modifying provisions relating to the concealed and carrying of firearms in Missouri.

Missouri House of Representative Jered Taylor R - District 139 introduced House Bill 258. Missouri Senator Eric Burlison R District 20 sponsored a similar bill, Senate Bill 121. 

House Bill 258 

House Bill 258 seeks to make changes to the list of locations an individual can carry a concealed firearm within the state and the list of locations an individual with a concealed and carry permit can carry a concealed firearm within the state.

These areas would include, but not be limited to: schools, universities, school buses, churches, hospitals, day cares, voting precincts, restaurants, amusement parks and sports arenas. This bill also seeks to allow conceal and carry at government meetings which are currently gun free zones, except the law does not apply to government officials, they can legally carry to defend themselves, if they so choose.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 96.2 percent of mass public shooting attacks happened in gun free zones between 1998 and 2015.

Rep. Taylor said gun free zones give criminals the upper hand because law abiding citizens are forced to disarm themselves.

Read HB 258 here

Senate Bill 121

Senator Burlison’s SB Bill 121 seeks to make the same type of modification relating to the concealed carrying of firearms. Read SB 121 here

Both bills, if approved would allow a private citizen who owns a business to ban or allow guns on their property. This also would not affect federally mandated gun free zones such as post offices.

Lake Area Sponsors

Missouri House Representative Suzie Pollock R-District 123 Lebanon is a cosponsor of HB 258. “I feel that gun-free zones make a larger target for people wanting to commit crimes,” Rep. Pollock said. “If they don’t have such an easy target as they do in a gun free zone, they won’t choose those places.” 

Missouri House Representative Rocky Miller R District 124 Lake Ozark has not officially cosponsored the bill, because he said—at the time of this interview—he had not read it yet. “I am predisposed to sponsor it,” Miller said. “I feel that in general, guns in the hands of good people is not a bad thing. Bad people will be the only ones with guns and bad people don’t care about gun-free zones.” 

Missouri Representative David Wood R District 58 Versailles and Senator Justin Brown R District 16 Camden, Crawford, Dent, Phelps and Pulaski were not available for comment.

There are 116 Missouri Representatives that say they are 100 percent pro-gun. As of Wednesday, Jan. 30, 15 have co-sponsored HB 258.

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