Missouri could soon allow guns on college campuses as two Republican Senators are pushing a bill to lift the ban on guns in college campuses.
As per the pre-filed papers, the carrying of guns would be allowed in a concealed manner. The purpose of carrying concealed guns to college campuses would be to protect students in the face of gunners who see colleges as sure targets due to this perceived lack of security.
But is this right? According to Senator Bob Dixon of Springfield and Senator Brian Munzlinger of Williamstown, yes. Missouri could soon allow guns on college campuses in an effort to stop campus gun violence. Capitalizing on the emotional wave of reactions following the last mass shooting at the Umpqua Community College, Oregon, the two Republican Senators believe this is the answer.
As such, Senator Brian Munzlinger argued that colleges should apply with Missouri’s Department of Public Safety for an exemption to carrying guns. The safety of students would be established through a regulatory framework envisioning the installing of weapon detectors as well as security guards with every building on college campuses.
According to the two Republican Senators, all gun free zones represent a threat for citizens. Criminals perceive gun-free zones as sure targets. As such, carrying guns, even on college campuses would ensure greater safety and allow those carrying permits to protect themselves and others in the case of another shooting.
Eight other states have already allowed carrying concealed guns on college campuses. According to the releases of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas is the latest state to allow this. The other seven states are Idaho, Mississippi, Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Kansas. In Texas, the law will enter into effect starting next year. Meanwhile, colleges are working on implementation plans to allow carrying concealed guns while ensuring safety at the same time.
Overall, 15 other states are debating bills allowing guns on college campuses. In Wisconsin and Florida, the bills have already been pre-filed.
As for Missouri, the pre-filed bills have been criticized by Democratic lawmakers arguing that they are simply politically motivated and they do not solve the problem of campus gun violence.
At the same time, the Missouri Community College Association and the Council on Public Higher Education announced that they haven’t taken any public position regarding the pre-filed bills. According to officials of the higher education groups, the preferred stance has been to allow universities and colleges to establish their own regulatory frameworks relating to guns.
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