Right to Carry on Campus Advances in Missouri

May 1, 2019 10:06 am

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Missouri was one of 16 states that banned the concealed carry of handguns on a college campus, as of August, 2018.

House Bill 575 in Missouri would change that, to allow people with concealed carry permits to carry on campus. It does this by removing “institutes of higher education” from the list of prohibited places in Missouri statute 571.107.

On 8 April, 2019, the Missouri House Passed HB 575, 98 to 52. On 25 April, 2019, the Senate SCS voted “Do Pass”. The bill will need to pass a full vote of the Senate, then be signed by the governor before it would become law. There are several other provisions in the bill.  The bill forbids  public institutions of higher learning from requiring students to live on campus after the first year. It allows students who already have health insurance to opt out of University health care coverage.

Various campus carry legislation has been put forward for several years in Missouri. In 2016, the St. Louis Dispatch reported  campus carry legislation had been considered for the previous three years, and would be considered again in 2017.

Representative Jered Taylor is the representative most responsible for pushing the bill to restore Second Amendment rights in and at Missouri institutions of higher learning.
Representative Taylor has been touted as one of the most consistent Second Amendment supporters in Missouri. Taylor was re-elected in 2018.

Missouri became a member of the Constitutional Carry club in 2016.

Prohibitions on the exercise of Second Amendment rights in various places has been a long term strategy of those who wish a disarmed public.

There does not appear to be any significant arguments to prohibit the exercise of Second Amendment rights on Campus, other than the generic “Guns are Bad” theme. People who want the population disarmed want to limit the carry of arms wherever they can.

Make it illegal and inconvenient to carry a gun in public, and the exercise of Second Amendment rights can be chilled and minimized to inconsequential levels.

People with carry permits have been repeatedly shown to be more law abiding than police officers. If more armed police officers make society safer, then more armed, responsible citizens also make society safer.

If HB 575 passes the Missouri Senate and is signed into law by Republican Governor Mike Parson, Missouri will become the 11th state having provisions for the carry of concealed weapons on postsecondary public campuses.  The ten states that have already achieved that status are: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

The provisions of these ten state legislatures vary considerably. Utah, which specifically forbids public colleges and universities from banning concealed carry.  The Utah bill passed in 2007. In Wisconsin, campus carry passed in 2011.  In Wisconsin, the public colleges and universities can ban concealed carry in campus buildings, but not on campus grounds.  In Kansas, the law passed in 2017 allows institutions of higher learning to ban guns from buildings if the buildings are equipted with scanners and personnel to detect concealed weapons.

No significant problems have been noted with the restoration of campus carry in any of those states

©2019 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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