Bill could allow concealed carry guns on public transportation

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COLUMBIA - Missouri is one of 42 states that allows concealed carry permits. One place that is off limits is public transportation.

But a new bill could soon allow gun owners with permits to carry their weapons on Missouri buses and trains.

According to HB 1080, the bill "allows an individual with a valid concealed carry permit to possess a firearm on any publicly funded transportation system, including systems providing bus or train service". The bill does not include school buses or any bus operating under contract with a public or private institution without that institution's consent.

Local gun store employee Lucas Parks said he doesn't see much of a downside with the legislation.

"People would already have the proper training to use the firearm," Parks said. "And the people who are going to do it illegally are going to do it illegally anyways."

Some bus riders in Columbia said they don't see the proposed legislation changing things, regardless if it passes or not.

"I don't really see it affecting much," bus rider Nick Tinker said. "It's not much different than someone transporting their firearm in their own car."

Lawmakers discussed the proposed legislation at a public hearing on the bill held early Wednesday. Legislators will continue to discuss the proposal and make any additional changes before the House is expected to vote on the legislation. There's no clear date yet for the vote.