Bill to allow concealed carry on campus draws opponents to Capitol
JEFFERSON CITY - Opponents of a new bill that would allow concealed carry weapons on campus lined up to testify before a Senate committee on Thursday.
University of Missouri student Matthew Carroll said weapons don't belong in a place of learning.
“The thought of teachers being armed and having to be makeshift body guards rather than doing what they do and to teach and whatnot, that’s probably my biggest concern,” he said.
Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Battlefield, said the bill is necessary to keep people safe because gun-free zones are where tragedy happens, when it's unlikely law enforcement will be there in time.
“Sometimes it could take minutes when seconds matter,” he said.
Burlison said it's important people are able to protect themselves when necessary.
“Criminals know that, in some areas, no one will stop them until law enforcement arrives,” he said.
The bill would also allow concealed carry in hospitals, bars, polling places, day care facilities, amusement parks and more.
Carroll wants others to speak up about the issue because it will impact his classmates.
“This is not an exclusive thing, it can happen to me or any of my friends and so I figured that I might as well speak up about these wrongs in our society,” Carroll said.
Carroll said he wants to make sure others are protected from gun violence. He started a student organization that aims to realize the protection of students from guns.
“One of my best friends from middle school actually passed away a couple years ago from gun violence,” he said.
Nine other people testified on Thursday against the bill.