TARGET 8: Missouri Capitol security causes problems for some visitors

6 days 15 hours 27 minutes ago February 13, 2017 Feb 13, 2017 Monday, February 13 2017 Monday, February 13, 2017 8:26:00 PM CST in Target 8
By: Jordan Berger, KOMU 8 News Reporter
Embed Code Copied

JEFFERSON CITY - If you've been to the Capitol since the start of 2017, you may have noticed something very different.

Metal detectors, X-Ray machines, and law enforcement: The "People's House" is beginning to look more like your nearest airport.

New security measures

Daniel Adam Crumbliss, the chief clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives, told state employees about these additions in memo sent out on January 4, which has been obtained by KOMU 8 News. It has a Missouri Capitol Police document explaining that beginning January 10, visitors entering the Missouri Capitol will be subject to search, including screenings using X-Ray conveyors and walk through magnetometers.

Entrances that were once accessible to the public have been locked electronically leaving three ways for visitors to enter. Only state employees with keycards can unlock those entrances.

According to Representative Deb Lavender (D-Kirkwood), these measures are also making it more difficult for citizen activist groups to access the Capitol and interact with their legislators. Already, the Missouri Retired Teacher's Association has canceled its annual lobby day.

“They canceled because they were concerned about security,” Lavender said. “They had buses coming over, they have 1,500 members coming over and seniors. And so the concern was how quickly can we get through security, we don't want them standing outside, in a February date if the weather's bad. So they canceled their entire lobby day, and this would have been their seventh or eighth in a row that they've done this. So I had huge concerns that all of a sudden the 'People's House' is no longer available to the people."

Shortly after new policy, guns allowed in Capitol

Interestingly, about a month after the new security measures went into place, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Gov. Eric Greitens' administration lifted a short-lived ban on allowing people with concealed-weapon permits to bring their guns into the Capitol.

The policy still prohibits visitors from carrying weapons into the House or Senate chambers or into committee hearing rooms. But Republican Sen. Ryan Silvey said there was no enforcement to ensure people comply.

Some lawmakers called for a new discussion about policies for guns in the statehouse. 

Where did the new security policy come from?

“So, the questions I've asked have not been answered,” Lavender said. “One report told me it was Governor Nixon's administration that decided on this that it did not go into effect until the first day of Governor Greitens' administration, I would probably be more apt to think it was Governor Greitens who did this, I'm not sure why Governor Nixon on his way out the door would do it. And so those questions so far have been unanswered for me."

KOMU 8 News reached out to Grietens' administration and received the following response from Press Secretary Parker Briden: "These security measures were funded, approved, and the work was begun to install them long before Eric Greitens became Governor. All of these security measures were paid for in FY2016's budget, which we had zero input on..." 

While these current measures already might deter groups of citizens from coming to the Capitol, there is a possibility circulating to allow paid lobbyists to bypass the process, raising even more questions. 

“We have heard that the paid lobbyists might get speed passes,” Lavender said. “So they may get the same type of badge that I have in my pocket that allows them to have easier access as well.”

For legislators like Lavender, most agree upon a fundamental belief that has been a policy of the Capitol since it was established.

"It is the "People's House" and I want to make sure that everybody feels welcome, and has access to this building when they need to."

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - MU Police have released a description of a man suspected of kissing one unwilling female and trying to... More >>
45 minutes ago February 20, 2017 Feb 20, 2017 Monday, February 20 2017 Monday, February 20, 2017 11:08:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will look at what could turn into a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP,... More >>
16 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:00:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Two people were arrested after taking law enforcement on a high speed chase throughout mid-Missouri Sunday, according... More >>
17 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:36:00 PM CST in Coverage From Callaway
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A group of homeowners raised money for a man who was arrested in their neighborhood after... More >>
17 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:05:00 PM CST in News
OVERLAND - The Overland Police Department cancelled the Amber Alert for a 9-month-old boy Sunday. According to police, the... More >>
21 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 2:10:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has started complaining about the coverage his administration receives, but the Republican... More >>
22 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 1:21:21 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia saw one of its warmest weekends of the year so far with temperatures in the high 60s... More >>
23 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:53:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY- One man died and another was seriously injured in an overnight crash in Callaway County Sunday. According... More >>
23 hours ago February 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017 Sunday, February 19 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 12:20:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY — The Boone County Fire Protection District responded to 12 natural cover fires on Saturday. The Columbia... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:28:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia (UUCC) and Missouri Faith Voices hosted a resistance training Saturday to educate... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 6:35:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY — Two people were taken into custody after leading police on a car chase through multiple counties Saturday... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 5:16:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An online tool has disappeared for people to find out whether they are buying puppies from... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:46:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A government report shows the number of farms in Missouri fell last year while the remaining... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Acting Company based out of New York has crossed the country and is now in Columbia to... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:03:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Special Olympics Missouri Regional Basketball Tournament returned to Jefferson City for the third year Saturday. ... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 2:48:00 PM CST in News
JOPLIN (AP) — Supporters of Route 66 are pushing to have the roadway added to a national list of historic... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:14:00 PM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — A male suspect attempted to gain entrance to a residence on Hackberry Trace in Montreal Saturday, the... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 1:05:00 PM CST in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — The Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission will be meeting to... More >>
1 day ago February 18, 2017 Feb 18, 2017 Saturday, February 18 2017 Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:38:29 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
12pm 68°
1pm 71°
2pm 73°
3pm 74°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Timeless
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld