Columbia Students and Lawmakers Reacts to Gun Legislation
COLUMBIA - While the U.S. defeated a bi-partisan plan to increase background checks on gun sales, Missouri is making progress.
The Missouri House gave a preliminary approval to gun rights legislation that would allow certain school personnel to carry concealed weapons. Missouri's plan would expand who can buy and carry weapons, while also control proposals un-enforcable within the state's borders.
The University of Missouri hosted a legeslative pannel on Thursday evening where the public could ask questions about this preliminary approval, among other heated topics.
Democratic representatives Stephen Webber and Chris Kelly answered a multitude of questions, varying in topic. They discussed their careers and legislative issues in Missouri.
Webber said no matter what legislation Missouri passes, it must be in alignment with the constitution.
"Regardless of what you think about gun control, one of the important things is that we respect federal law," he said. "One of the frustrations in Jefferson City is that we've continually said we're going to ignore the federal law."
Representative Kelly refused to comment.
Courtney Scott is a member of the College Republicans at the university and attended the panel. She was shocked that the U.S. Senate did not pass the tougher gun laws.
"It's the idea that you don't want a weapon, regardless of caliber, in the hands of someone who potentially has a criminal record," she said.
Republican Senator Kurt Schaefer did not show up and failed to give any notice, leaving the discussion one-sided.
Caitlyn Yana is a senior at the university. She was extremely disappointed that Schaefer was not in attendance.
"We really hoped to have him here tonight for a balanced discussion," she said. "It's nice to provide students with different perspectives."