By: Krystle Crossman
Gun control laws are changing in Missouri. A new law that was passed by a two-thirds majority vote will allow teachers who are specially trained to carry a handgun in the schools that they are teaching in. This has been an ongoing effort for the last two years in wake of all of the school shootings that have been happening. Governor Jay Nixon had vetoed these laws in May so they needed the majority vote to overrule him.
The new law is not just for teachers either. It drops the age that you are allowed to obtain a concealed carry permit down from 21 years old to 19 years old. Also it allows for open carry with a weapons permit in any city, even the cities that have open-carry bans. Another measure that was on the docket but did not make it past the vote was to nullify the federal gun control laws in the state. This bill was vetoed by the governor a few months ago. It would have caused federal officers that tried to enforce gun control laws in Missouri to be subjected to state and criminal penalties.
Even though Missouri had already allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons in the classrooms, this new law requires that the Department of Public Safety create a safety training course that the teachers must complete in order to carry the weapon onto a school campus. This will allow for more safety with those who are carrying on campus. Some schools designate one teacher or staff member as the “school protection officer” and this is the person that is allowed to carry on school grounds. Senator Will Kraus stated that safety training is very important for these people to carry on campus.
With the passing of this law Missouri has become the 10th state to allow concealed carry weapons to be held by staff on school campuses since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting where 20 students and 6 staff members were killed tragically. Connecticut, California, and New York all went the opposite direction and made the gun laws even more strict.