MO lawmakers push for lifting gun bans on college campuses

Related Story

JEFFERSON CITY - Firearms are currently not allowed on college campuses, but two Missouri lawmakers are proposing to change that.

State senators Bob Dixon (R - Springfield) and Brian Munzlinger (R - Williamstown) pre-filed legislation last week that would lift the current ban of carrying firearms on college campuses.

The bill does have a provision allowing campuses to choose between allowing concealed carry permit holders to carry on campus or offer security guards and metal detectors at building entrances.

“What this bill would do, it would say, unless the university offers security guards and metal detectors at entrances on campus, they cannot tell concealed carry holders to leave the campus,” Dixon said.

Dixon said the current state law does not authorize people with concealed carry permits to carry firearms on college campuses, but also states doing so is not a criminal act.

Dixon said he filed a similar bill in 2008 after the Virginia Tech shooting. The bill passed in the house, but did not make it past that.

Owner of Modern Arms in Columbia, Larry Wayland, said he supports the bill because he believes gun-free zones are targeted.

“The gun-free zones are a magnet to those who are out to do no good,” Wayland said.

"Criminals are going to go where they think they can get away with it. A sign that says a gun-free zone, to you and me, is a sign. For criminals, that is a neon invitation to them that they could have an easier time getting away with it," Dixon said.

However, an MU student said firearms on campus would not make it any safer. 

“I think it would only create more problems than they’d solve,” MU student Tyler Small said.

This pre-filed bill comes a few months after an MU law professor sued the university over gun policy in September.