Missouri House passes amendment allowing concealed weapons on college campuses

Friday, April 10, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:57 a.m. CDT, Monday, April 13, 2009

COLUMBIA — The Missouri House gave first-round approval Wednesday to a bill that would greatly expand gun owners' rights in Missouri, including a provision allowing students with permits to carry concealed weapons on college campuses.

While some see this as a positive development, others, including university officials, object to the legislation.

“Missouri’s college students should be allowed to learn and exchange ideas in an environment free from the threat of concealed guns,” University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee said in a news release Thursday. “It is hard to imagine that such a proposal could gain support given the magnitude of gun-related tragedies experienced on college campuses across the country.”

In addition to the provision to allow concealed weapons on campuses, the bill would also lower the eligibility age for obtaining a concealed carry permit from 23 to 21. Most states set the minimum age at 21.

Jonathan Ratliff, MU sophomore and campus leader for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, said he was happy to see the amendment pass.

“All I want to do is be able to protect myself and allow my friends to be able to protect themselves,” he said.

Brian Roach, MU junior and president of MU College Democrats, said his group was opposed to allowing concealed weapons on campus.

“It was actually kind of a surprise that this passed so quickly,” he said.

MU Police Chief Jack Watring said at the MU Faculty Council meeting Thursday that he was opposed to the legislation.

“I don’t think most students in an educational environment need a weapon,” he said.

Watring said MU currently does not allow weapons of any kind on campus.

He added that the biggest concern with the concealed carry provision is the tactical problems it would create, such as the ability for police to identify a suspect in a situation where many people are carrying weapons. 

Current concealed carry laws require applicants to undergo firearms training and to be free of felony convictions. The laws also ban concealed weapons in places such as schools, hospitals and large stadiums.

As amended, the bill would allow concealed weapons to be carried onto the campuses of public colleges and universities. During debate, several House members said such a law could help to prevent an incident similar to the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech.

Rep. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, who sponsored the amendment, said schools and other public places that bar guns are open targets because people are sitting there like "a bunch of sheep."

But Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, said he was worried about the possible combination of drinking and weapons on college campuses.

"College boys who round up 25 opossums half drunk can do amazingly interesting things with fireworks, bottles of gasoline, with all kinds of interesting devices," Kelly said.

"Fraternity boys are a very inventive lot, let's make sure we give 'em guns to play with too," he added with sarcasm.  

The amendment was adopted 106-41.

The bill faces one more vote before it can move to the Senate.

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Tracy Greever-Rice April 10, 2009 | 7:36 a.m.

um, perhaps another grown-up or two should step in and try to help Rep. Kelly do something about this very, very bad idea. geez louise, how could this bill have gotten this far w/o it's obvious downsides being pointed out, over and over?

So, the minute they can buy alcohol legally, then can mosey into a classroom a packin'? Boy, I'd hate to be a bartender in this town. Gives a whole new meaning to 21st birthday shots.

(Report Comment)
Greg Collins April 10, 2009 | 8:11 a.m.

Perhaps in his spare time between caustic ignorant sarcasms, Rep Kelly would like to publicly speak on the wide spread successes of "gun free" zones and the casualty counts associated with them.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking April 10, 2009 | 8:35 a.m.

“Missouri’s college students should be allowed to learn and exchange ideas in an environment free from the threat of concealed guns,”

But they're not free from the threat of concealed guns. They're only free from the threat of LEGAL concealed guns. And that makes the threat of ILLEGAL concealed guns greater.


(Report Comment)
Tracy Greever-Rice April 10, 2009 | 9:07 a.m.

the threat, Mark, comes from the competence and sanity (or lack there of) of the person hiding his gun - regardless of issues of legal registry.

(Report Comment)
cwh51 April 10, 2009 | 9:20 a.m.

Student Shoots 3 in Greek College, Kills Himself
today on FOXNEWS

(Report Comment)
Cantor Billows April 10, 2009 | 9:21 a.m.

Is this a joke? Terrible idea. I teach these kids and would not feel comfortable with guns in class. This bunker mentality is contrary to everything that higher education is about.

(Report Comment)
Greg Collins April 10, 2009 | 9:36 a.m.

An interesting statistic -- which is not really surprising if you have a good grasp on reality -- is that from a study of active killers is that they almost exclusively seek out "gun free" zones for their attacks.

In most states, concealed handguns are prohibited at schools and on college campuses even for those with permits. Many malls and workplaces also place signs at their entrances prohibiting firearms on the premises.

The fallacy of "You the legal citizen must be disarmed ... for you see, you don't need to be armed in here. We have armed police officers to protect you" costs lives.

When seconds counts, the cops are still minutes away.

(Report Comment)
John Beaumonte April 10, 2009 | 9:37 a.m.

So, let's see now. College professors, ta's, or clergymen will be issued full body armor at the beginning of each class/sermon because, look out, if a student/parishioner who drank his/her breakfast disagrees with that day's teaching concept or expressed thought, the body armor might save their life. Who are the sheep now, the audience or the speaker? Brought to you by the NRA right!
This is insane.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking April 10, 2009 | 9:40 a.m.

Tracy Greever-Rice:

"the threat, Mark, comes from the competence and sanity (or lack there of) of the person hiding his gun"

That's why they have background checks for people buying and carrying weapons, and courses for concealed carry that make the applicant demonstrate a level of skill with his weapon. People carrying illegally, or with illegal guns, have none of these safeguards.

It's not perfect. But most shootings are perpetrated by people that got their guns illegally. Most legal owners are very aware of their responsibility in owning guns, and would be very careful before using one in self-defense (or any other reason).


(Report Comment)
Tracy Greever-Rice April 10, 2009 | 10:30 a.m.

Right on, Cantor. And, of course, those of us who have to try and manage a classroom of whom knows how many armed-to-the-bejeezus-belt, hair trigger, happy boys and girls, have zero, zilch, zippo say in whether or not we have to be marksmen posters day in and day out.

Just want to make sure I'm clear on this, faculty can set rules in a classroom to ensure a successful learning environment, right? I can tell students not to bring their cell phones to class. I can set an attendance policy. I can ask folks to remove their hats. I can disallow disruptions like students wandering in and out of the room during the class period. I can penalize them if they don't follow the rules. But the Missouri Assembly has taken it upon itself to overrule my ability to manage lethal weapons in the classroom?

So, I can manage the risk of a baseball cap blocking the view of the student sitting behind the wearer, but it's none of my bee's wax, who's packin' 357 hot bolts of lethal lead in their baggy b-ball shorts?

I'm sure proponents in the MO house thought all the way through this (not), but it seems to me that not knowing whether or not your classmate could blow your head off should you suggest an idea he/she finds disagreeable, might put a bit of a damper on intellectual inquiry and the free exchange of ideas... Perhaps that was the goal of proponents of this bill in the MO house, or from their perspective, just a happy latent effect.

What's most disturbing to me about this is the inability of folks, particularly our elected officials, to accurately discern risk and probability. Millions of public group events occur each and every day - each and every day. The risk of being injured or killed by any means by attending one or more of these events is infinitesimal, compared to things like accidents and life-style or hereditary illness.

Seriously folks, which is more dangerous: A campus with no guns and the minuscule chance of being a victim of a deranged shooter, or a roomful of kids with guns hidden in their backpacks and short pants? If you drive your car, fly in airplanes, or attend events with folks you don't know who could be carrying god-knows-what kind of disease, then you better know that the latter is far, far, far more dangerous than the former.

I am much, much, much more afraid of some tired, hung-over kid accidentally shooting another tired, hung-over kid in the back of the head while adjusting the ipod in his backpack that sits right next Bubba, the gun, than I am of anything else. This is the most likely outcome of this misplaced, misguided, innumerate idea.

(Report Comment)
Bryan Ross April 10, 2009 | 11:58 a.m.

I applaud those representatives that support this bill. The students, faculty and staff are all adult members of society and should not have to surrender their right to carry a concealed firearm when they step foot on a public, tax-supported college campus.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking April 10, 2009 | 12:59 p.m.

Tracy wrote:

"Seriously folks, which is more dangerous: A campus with no guns and the minuscule chance of being a victim of a deranged shooter, or a roomful of kids with guns hidden in their backpacks and short pants? If you drive your car, fly in airplanes, or attend events with folks you don't know who could be carrying god-knows-what kind of disease, then you better know that the latter is far, far, far more dangerous than the former."

The percentage of people with carry permits in Missouri was lass than 0.4% in 1998 - perhaps it's higher now, but no state in this study had more than 8%.

If it was 1%, then there is a 50 percent chance that 1 person in 100 random people was licensed to carry (and not everyone licensed to carry does). In a typical 30 student class, it's unlikely there would even be one person carrying.

Autombiles are far more dangerous than firearms (42,000 accidental deaths/year as opposed to 800), but most people seem to have no problem using one daily. This law won't significantly affect you, but it might save your life.


(Report Comment)
cwh51 April 10, 2009 | 2:39 p.m.

Man, Woman Dead in Murder-Suicide at Michigan College
today on FOXNEWS

(Report Comment)
Paul Ready April 10, 2009 | 2:49 p.m.

Since I founded MU Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, I've repeatedly challenged those who opposed my efforts to go out and investigate the topic thoroughly. People in the college environment are usually capable of identifying empty arguments, logical fallacy, and valid statistics. I repeat my challenge again to the staff member above, and any others who may oppose the new amendment. Go out, hit the journals, and find real evidence that says this is a bad idea. I'd put money on it, that you won't ever find any. It isn't because the evil gun lobby is hiding the truth. It's because the truth doesn't say what opponents of this measure expect it to.

When concealed carry was first passed in Florida, and subsequently in the vast majority of other states, many of these same arguments came about. "People will shoot each other over simple disagreements; he police won't be able to tell the bad guys from the good guys; more guns means more accidents and crimes."

These statements couldn't have wound up farther from the truth. Despite increased rates (total and per capita) of gun ownership and the widespread legalization of concealed carry, gun crime and gun accidents regularly decline. (See CQ Researcher's last comprehensive gun control write up) Among states that keep such statistics, people with concealed handgun licenses tend to be between 5-14x less likely than the general population to be convicted of a violent crime, despite the fact that they, de facto, tend to have guns on their person far more often than the general population. In Texas the figure is 14x (See William E. Sturdevant, “An Analysis of the Arrest Rate of Texas Concealed Handgun License Holders as Compared to the Arrest Rate of the Entire Texas Population”). Those arrest rates are comparable to, and in some cases lower than, that of the police, whose public possession of weapons is never called a risk. When the National Academy of Sciences took up the topic of concealed carry, the only debate occurring was whether concealed carry was neutral or brought crime rates down ("Firearms and Violence" See the CC section and the dissent in Appendix A.) If we can agree that NAS is not biased, and accept that this measure is at worst neutral, what logical reason do we have to oppose it?

We aren’t deputizing anyone. You won't see a student org table at orientation handing out Glocks. We aren't changing who can buy weapons, or even who can carry them. After all, you probably still go to movies, shop for groceries, and dine at restaurants, where you might already, unknowingly, see a student from your class who is lawfully armed. We're simply asking that a segment of the population that has been proven to be trustworthy be allowed to afford themselves and their classmates a final line of defense in the unlikely event that their lives are in danger and no other options are available. Short of that day coming, you probably will never know anything changed at all.

(Report Comment)
Dina Volkman April 10, 2009 | 3:15 p.m.

"We're simply asking that a segment of the population that has been proven to be trustworthy be allowed to afford themselves and their classmates a final line of defense in the unlikely event that their lives are in danger and no other options are available. Short of that day coming, you probably will never know anything changed at all."

ARE YOU SERIOUS??? 2 people were just today killed on a Michigan community college campus which was a student. The VA Tech was a student. Athens Greece just today, vocational training facililty killing and injuries, a student. Louisiana Tech... a student.... Do you know the stress level of college students????? This is the "segment of the population that has proven to be trustworthy" NO.. This CANNOT PASS

(Report Comment)
Geoff Meade April 10, 2009 | 3:54 p.m.

For Tracy Greever-Rice: Yes, you can decide not to let your students wear hats or cell phones because you are not interfering with their fundamental civil rights. Try banning black or Hispanic students from your classes and see how far you get. Same thing with the right to bear (ie, carry) guns. It's a constitutionally protected civil right in our country, derived from the fundamental human right to self-defense. Guns are far and away the most effect means of defending oneself, particularly in our day and age. Furthermore, the odds are that you won't have any CCW licensees in your class anyway, except possibly graduate classes. Remember, you still have to be 21 years old, and have a spotless legal record to get a license. The most likely folks to be armed in most undergrad classes, would be the Prof and TA. Surely you don't think THEY are irresponsible drunks do you?

(Report Comment)
cwh51 April 10, 2009 | 4:06 p.m.
(Report Comment)
Geoff Meade April 10, 2009 | 4:09 p.m.

For Tracy again: You are concerned with college students not being stable enough to carry guns, I take it. Please remember that we are not talking about "college students" here, but rather about Concealed Carry License (CCW) holders. These groups only rarely overlap, if only because of the age requirements for licensure. If you look at the statistics, of which there are now an abundance, regarding CCW licensees, you will find that, as a subgroup, they are in fact, one of the safest, most responsible, and most law-abiding individuals in the country. They are five times less likely to be arrested than even NYC police officers. Their rate of involvement in crimes or accidents is incredibly low, and they have demonstrated over many years, that they pose no danger to those around them, who will almost always be unaware that they are even in the presence of a gun anyway (it still has to be concealed, remember). In fact, statistics indicate that, if anything, even the mere potential presence of legally carried concealed guns in a public place, confers a safety advantage rather than the opposite.

(Report Comment)
cwh51 April 10, 2009 | 4:09 p.m.

Watch "If I Only Had a Gun" tonight on a special edition of "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET

(Report Comment)
Geoff Meade April 10, 2009 | 4:20 p.m.

For the MU Police Chief: I understand your reluctance to allow any sort of parity of force with your officers on campus; however, your concerns about tactical problems with identifying the good guys and bad guys, if there are several armed individuals present at a shooting scene, are quite unwarranted. If you do not currently train your officers to deal with this type of scenario, than I would suggest that your training procedures are somewhat outdated, as most police forces in the country today routinely train to handle this scenario. But in fact, it is really pretty easy to tell who is the good guy and who is the active shooter. When your first officer arrives on the scene, the shooting will be over already. If there is anyone still shooting, that will be your active shooter. A CCW licensee will either have shot, or driven off, an active shooter in his/her vicinity and holstered their gun already. If their gun is not holstered, they will immediately put it down and stand with their hands over their head as soon as the officer identifies himself as a police officer. You see, CCW holders get training in how to respond in these situations even if your officers don't.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 10, 2009 | 4:31 p.m.

If we're going to go all anecdotal like the ABC link that cwh51 posted, I can tell you that a daily news clipping service I am on, more often than not, has a story every day about a citizen with a legal firearm successfully defending their home or business.

(Report Comment)
Geoff Meade April 10, 2009 | 4:46 p.m.

For Tracy yet again: You use the term "probability" as if you are familiar with the term in specific, and statistics in general. If so, I strongly recommend you go to Dr. John Lott's website and look at his research on this topic. It is asolutely compelling. So much so in fact, that his research has been used in cognitive behavioral therapy to help people with Hoplophobia (irrational fear of guns/weapons). If you do some research into this issue yourself, as I suspect many of your legislators have actually had their staff do for them, you will find that they are actually doing a good job (with support for this bill) of assessing the nature and degree of the threats presented. You are reacting to the, so far non-existent, threat of a tired student accidentally shooting another while delving into his backpack. Not realistic. First off, no one would carry there, but secondly, the kind of students who might be legally carrying, are not the type of person who has that kind of accident. If the mere presence of more guns in the area per se, were inherently dangerous, we would expect to see a high number of accidents, rage shootings, etc. on American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, where virtaully everyone is armed all the time (often even with machine guns). They are certainly under far more stress than any college student is; they are also getting far too little sleep, inadequate food, far too much excercise, are often exhausted, etc., yet the accident and illegal shooting rate is virtually zero. Ergo, the mere presence of lots of guns in a stressful environment, is not inherently dangerous. "But they are trained," you say? Well so are the CCW licensees. In fact, many of us CCW folks are also police and/or military veterans ourselves.

(Report Comment)
Paul Ready April 10, 2009 | 6:13 p.m.


The "population segment" is not students in general. It is CCW licensees. The two groups have a very small overlap, in which you will not find a single school shooting perpetrator in modern history. In my University of Houston Law classes, you will however, find at least two former police officers.

(Report Comment)
Marilyn Patterson April 10, 2009 | 8:16 p.m.

If concealed weapons are allowed on any university campus, public or private, it would be a tragedy for the higher education community. I can't imagine the consequences, and I would feel that my daughter was unsafe. Guns do not belong in dorms, or in off campus housing supported by a university under any circumstances.

(Report Comment)
Vernon Jenewein April 10, 2009 | 9:45 p.m.

I am all for this passing! I am a CPL holder and as one, I can speak with some conviction that I would not even consider doing anything to further the cause of the left wing, liberal minded citizen in their desire to diminish our Second Amendment Rights. I carry with pride and with conviction. Most that take the course to obtain a concealed pistol license, agree that while being both expensive, it is also very eye opening. Fingerprinting, background checks, waiting anxiously to get your permit. No, I will not jeopardize it, nor someone else's life by being foolish with a dangerous weapon. It's dangerous, so it can save my life and maybe yours. It has to be. Criminal look at school grounds as gun free "KILLING" grounds where they know they can inflict the most damage before anyone (police) can show up to stop them. FBI profiles such a person and they are one to choose gun fee zones and to kill as many as possible, and to kill themselves when confronted by police.

Schools are not a safe place from criminals. They don't follow signs, they don't follow laws, and they have no regard for human life.
Retired Deputy with the belief that honest law abiding citizens ABSOLUTELY have the right to keep and bear arms just as much as they have the right to free speech, freedom of religions, and all the other "rights" outlined by the Bill of Rights. Read it sometime. Pretty important bit of a text, written by founders that knew we should never have to argue about whether we should have the God given right to our own self protection and those of our loved one.

(Report Comment)
Vernon Jenewein April 10, 2009 | 10:10 p.m.

The Michigan incident involved a a murder suicide with a shotgun, which would not be quite the same as a concealed weapon. Irregardless, the crime was committed with no regards to whether the school had a "no gun" policy or not. Clearly, any school with a NO GUN policy will never be enforceable until "after the fact". The gunman committed a crime. He did more than bring a gun onto campus, he murdered someone. Would it have made any difference if handguns were outlawed or Concealed Pistols License holders were not allowed to carry on campus? Probably not, as this was done with no regards to laws and people.

(Report Comment)
JJ Biss April 11, 2009 | 12:30 a.m.

As a college graduate with two degrees, I spent many years on College Campuses. I carried a firearm to class with me EVERY DAY. In fact, I never even thought about the weapon. No one ever knew I was armed.

About 5 years ago, I learned that carrying a firearm in a school was illegal in my state. If I had known that it was illegal, I assure you, I would never have carried a weapon. I was completely shocked to learn that I was doing something illegal for all of those years.

Frankly, if a Virgina Tech incident ever happened in my school or building, the people in my class would have been safe or at the very least would have had a fighting chance.

I started shooting firearms at age 6 or 7. I was taught safe firearm handling by my father. Above all, he insisted on safety. In fact, some of my fondest memories of my Dad was on the range shooting where he taught me to shoot.

Dad taught us that a firearm is for target shooting, hunting and protection of life only. He taught us that life is precious and can never be replaced. Property CAN be replaced and a firearm is never to used to protect property.

Firearms save lives. I can share an incident just two years ago on a College Campus in Pennsylvania where a student was pistol whipped and beaten to death by three non students who came onto the campus to rob someone.

I can relate the problems at two local University campuses that both have large police departments where students have been raped, stabbed and shot by thugs who had no business on the campus.

I can also tell you that on one occasion while on a date, having a firearm saved our lives. We were being followed by eight men and as they got closer, we could hear them discussing what they wanted to do with my date. When I drew my weapon, one guy said, "Lets leave them alone, the Mother expletive got a gun" and they simply walked away. The girl who was an anti-gunner said, "I don't know if I should be happy or angry that you have that gun". We never dated again.

My final revelation, I have been in law enforcement for over 30 years now, in fact my career is winding down but I completely support laws to allow licensed students to carry firearms on campus. I believe it will save more lives than prohibiting firearms on campus. I'm sad to say it but it is true, When seconds count, the police will be there in a few minutes.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 11, 2009 | 2:21 a.m.

Concealed weapons are a bad idea.
Students, with permits. should be allowed to carry their guns, in plain view, in a holster.
Rifles, shot guns and bazookas should be frowned on.
Happy Easter.
He has risen.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 11, 2009 | 2:49 a.m.

Concealed carry on campus is a good idea. If you want your children siting around on campus unarmed for the next psycho to use as target practice, then make sure you kids don't carry a weapon to school. MAYBE, just MAYBE the next time some psycho walks into college with an arsenal and starts shooting, the student that decided to carry concealed MIGHT just decide to save your kid's life?

The threat of alcohol and firearms mixing is not negated any at all by taking away concealed carry. There are still plenty of bars, and plenty of cars to put your firearm in until after you are good and drunk. So, concealed carry does not increase the chance of an alcohol involved incident with a firearm.

Same with "frat boy mischief", taking away the right to carry concealed or not allowing firearms on campuses does not insure that they are not going to have a firearm.

All concealed carry does is make it a little easier for the good citizens to have a means to protect theirself against the "thugs", who I might remind you do not care about illegally carrying to begin with. Making firearms illegal or restricting them too much, will just insure that the people who are willing to break the law will be the ones that are armed so they can victimize the citizenry that are not willing to beak the law.

If someone attempts to victimize me, all I want is a "half ass chance", then win, lose or draw, I will know that I have another option other than being at the mercy of the person trying to victimize me!

More much ado about nothing!


(Report Comment)
Bubba Bean April 11, 2009 | 3:23 p.m.

From what I recall about Virginia Tech shootings was an interview where one student who was barricaded in a classroom with his teacher & other students told others that he had permit 2 carry concealed but was unarmed because of law or rules against lawful concealed carry on college campuses. Upon further discussion it was learned that one or two other individuals in same classroom also had concealed carry permits but were also unarmed because of law/rules. This elicited a statement from instructor admitting that he wished they were armed at time of attack.
As for 20/20 segment last night, this is more of same bull from usual media perpetrators. The program, whose timing was carefully coordinated 2 support concerted push against assault weapons nationally ( Mexico herring, ), & carefully coordinated 2 support mayoral group pushing for more restrictions, was intentionally faulty, intentionally designed 2 frighten (scenes of fully automatic machine guns being fired at opening of program, scenes of kids firing machine guns at a range in program, with fully auto machine gun sales (& conversion kits along with act of converting guns 2 full auto) being banned nationwide since 80's except for grandfathered units which were EXTREMELY tightly regulated prior 2 ban (local approval, state approval iirc, BATF approval, justice department approval, additional approvals, & anyone could deny approval at any step of process without giving a reason, etc.).
For part about being designed 2 fail, you can see reason individuals in training class weren't able 2 draw their weapon immediately (& that may have played some part in their immediate confusion on this 2 affect weather they sat, crouched enough, etc.), individuals were all given long, stretchy sweatshirts 2 wear, which fit snuggly _below_ the waist, intentionally hindering access 2 weapon, drawing would require two handed coordinated pulling up of sweatshirt from below crotch level 2 above high point of weapon handle above waist, & then removal of weapon with what was probably a police designed holster specifically designed 2 prevent removal unless weapon was pulled in a certain way, these holsters are designed 2 prevent weapon from being taken by someone other than officer wearing holster/weapon. The other part about being designed 2 fail is the setup of all other "trainees" in class actually being officers & participating in the scheme. One officer in "peripheral vision" of victim turns out 2 be another attacker who starts firing after first enters & starts firing, meanwhile other officers run back & forth in front of guns 2 try & become collaterally shot. This is bull. It may make a good training exercise for police officers, but such a scenario is extremely rare, I can't think of any shootings that happened with this premeditated, designed 2 fail setup.
End part I

(Report Comment)
Bubba Bean April 11, 2009 | 3:26 p.m.

And folks, when incidents like this happen, you are playing percentages whether armed or unarmed. I've been licensed for nearly ten years, living & working in high crime areas & I know from personal experience, whether perpetrator saw a weapon & immediately backed down & walked then ran, or it was just enough for him 2 think you were carrying because you immediately pulled your hands 2 your right waist area 2 out draw him, & he backed down, or whether he pulled a bat 2 swing at driver's head on street after blocking in car, & driver pulled his weapon, pointed it at perpetrator & perpetrator froze just as he was starting 2 swing bat, put bat down & slinked back 2 his car, or when an individual with nothing better 2 do (& perhaps a little alcohol or drugs in him) instigated an argument that he quickly escalated by attempting 2 draw on his victim & instead he was out drawn, realized he was in a losing situation & made a quick exit...these are all situations that were real, did happen, were cases in which could have turned deadly had I or those around me not been armed, & never made news because a single shot hadn't been fired. & some may chalk it up 2 coincidence, but establishment where I worked was never held up, it was well known in neighborhood we were heavily armed & ready, but other establishments near us were all victims of armed robbery at least once, some were held up multiple times in same year.
End part II

(Report Comment)
Bubba Bean April 11, 2009 | 3:30 p.m.

& local police didn't bat an eye when they sent an officer 2 occupy our establishment (as they routinely do) when dignitaries were in town, & officer saw a loaded shotgun in one area of establishment facing door/counter, & knew that permits 2 carry were on premises. Didn't even bring subject up in conversation. The choice 2 work & live under these conditions weren't ours, it was & is a way of life for millions every day. Thankfully I don't work under those conditions anymore, & describing it will probably elicit responses of "you're living in wrong neighborhood, move instead of carrying" but 1. that wasn't a possibility then, 2. be run out of one neighborhood & then possibility of being run out of a second? 3. Financial ties 2 the communities made it impossible 2 change locations at the time, 4. it was all taken in stride, & other than dealing with hassles of permitting & licensing in one of the most restrictive cities in nation, & then being thought of as criminals by politicians, police brass & press, along with added stress of thinking of shooting/being shot, along with sure 2 follow lawsuits...
From earliest days of hunting as a minor, knowing I would be applying for a permit for a handgun after turning 21, & once in possession of permit/firearm, I made sure 2 very carefully follow the law, as even a minor infraction would result in forfeiting permit in city I'm in. Whether driving & following parking & traffic laws, or general comportment, or making sure of no dui/dwi (& therefore always being designated driver), I always made sure & make sure 2 not forfeit my "right" 2 a handgun in my city. This appears 2 be true for vast majority of general population who are concealed-carry permit holders. Whether it is just behavior, or it is part of their character, 2 choose 2 go through process of obtaining a permit 2 carry along with taking on responsibilities associated with such action, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law abiding individuals when compared 2 other groups (iirc there was a study when Florida was debating over their (first in nation) shall-issue statewide law & predictions of blood flowing in the streets that never panned out, with a study showing either in their state or another early shall-issue state, that showed that concealed carry permit holders, a few years after law was passed, had a lower incident rate than police officers personally had). & those worried about a wild west can relax, these claims never pan out.First, a very low percentage of individuals obtain concealed carry permits once a law authorizing concealed carry passes, iirc it's a low single digit percentage.

(Report Comment)
Spencer Engel April 11, 2009 | 10:06 p.m.

Rep. Kelly, how about you use your brain before making a mindless harmful remark about the entire Greek system? There was absolutely no reason to make that stupid comment other than the possibility that you weren't cool enough to join a frat when you were in school so now you're acting like Dean Prichard (Cheeeeeese) from Old School, and taking out your anger on Greeks without provocation.

(Report Comment)
Cara Lyles April 11, 2009 | 11:04 p.m.

I am a Missouri CCW holder who has gone through all of the training and background checks in order to LEGALLY have the RIGHT to carry a concealed weapon.

I am ALSO a FEMALE (well over the age of 30) who has to leave classes late at night, to return to my vehicle, on a campus that has experienced numerous attacks/attempted attacks on female students recently.

I find your comments, "Representative" Chris Kelly, HIGHLY offensive! Are you, Mr. Kelly, seriously suggesting that at MY AGE I can NOT be trusted with a weapon (used SOLELY for self-defense) on campus? Are you suggesting that there should be a concern about a 30, almost 40, year old female carrying a concealed weapon on campus??????? If so, you are NOT representing ME.

At my height and weight, I don't stand much of a chance against a male attacker... regardless of the self-defense training I've taken!

Do I NOT have a RIGHT to defend myself against rape??? Or, worse, death?????

(Report Comment)
Larry Crain April 12, 2009 | 10:36 a.m.

"MU Police Chief Jack Watring said ... MU currently does not allow weapons of any kind on campus."

So, is the Chief claiming that there's a Berlin-style wall completely surrounding the MU campus, with every entry gate equipped with an infallible weapon detector manned by his (highly trained, but unarmed?) MU cops?

Or is he saying that that he has posted a bunch of pieces of paper that say "WEPONZ at MU is a NO-NO!!"

The former MIGHT prevent a VaTech-style atrocity; the latter just identifies the game preserve.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance April 13, 2009 | 12:52 a.m.

There hasn't been any statistically significant study that has said whether carry and conceal creates or prevents crime. I do know that a few years back some frat boys got drunk and shoved a bunch of fireworks in a cannon, the resulting explosion sent shrapnel across the street towards the apartment building nearby. It crashed through the roof and smash into a ping pong table 2 Chinese students were using. If a professor can prohibit laptops, hats, etc. They should be able to prohibit handguns.

(Report Comment)
ralp payne April 13, 2009 | 11:16 a.m.

My interest is in seeing all those that need protected be protected. But I have only one question: When was the last time that a school shooting happenend by someone that was carrying legally? and When was the last time a proffesor made all the students show their weapons? Good job by the legislators.

(Report Comment)
Terry Smith April 14, 2009 | 9:12 a.m.

I am an MU alumni and I have two young adult children currently students at MU as well. I am also a firearms instructor and am involved in the process of certifying people to carry a concealed weapon on their person. There have been numerous MU students that passed through our classes and every one of them has truly impressed me with their positive attitude and their demonstrated maturity. These people are not your typical stereotypical freshman frat-brats that have yet matured to the level necessary for responsible concealed carry let alone to assume the responsibility of a serious student.
And by-the-way, those faculty members who have made comment in this forum on the lack of MU student maturity in derogatory terms by stereotyping all students under the banner of irresponsibility and recklessness should be ashamed of themselves for showing such disdain and contempt for the very people they owe their profession.
Students who take on this huge responsibility for protecting their lives and the lives of others have moved far down the path of leadership and demonstrated responsibility. These people are not your trouble makers – they are your brightest and most capable career minded students at the University. I would gladly put the lives of my children in the hands of these young adults willing to assume this serious responsibility, and so should you.
In addition, no one has listed the added advantage of legalizing concealed carry on campus in that these changes will allow a whole host of non-students to also carry legally on campus. This includes parents, friends, visitors, a whole host of service providers and product vendors, not to mention faculty and staff. Again, this is a select group of responsible people.
One faculty commenter indicated that students with a concealed weapon will be disruptive to the learning process. Well sir, how is it going to be disruptive if you have no idea it is in the classroom? Also, think about how disruptive it would be if a psychopath were to murder several students in your classroom because he could not be stopped by an armed student or faculty member barred from carrying a weapon in the classroom? You should ask the students and faculty at Virginia Tech.
If the past is a predictor of the future, there will be no blood bath perpetrated by a licensed to carry student. There will be no negligent (some people refer to as accidental) discharges of a firearm while sifting through a book bag, there will be no “playing” with a firearm in the dorm. It is just not going to happen because those who assume the responsibility for their own lives and the lives of those around them do not behave in this way – they are a breed apart from the norm. They are people you would trust with your life if you were being threatened by a criminal or deranged psychopath hell bent on creating carnage on your campus.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking April 14, 2009 | 9:36 a.m.

Also, the age for getting a carry permit is 21 (down from 23). Most undergrads will not be able to carry legally anyway. The classroom would never be "filled with guns" - in fact, it'd be unusual if there were even one or two students carrying.

We also shouldn't underestimate the deterrent effect of allowing carry on a campus, even if hardly anyone carried. It might make someone think twice about becoming the next Seung Cho if it was possible they'd be stopped after the first couple shots.


(Report Comment)
Jack Jones April 17, 2009 | 5:28 a.m.

Seriously, we can sit here and make up all the "what-if" scenarios we want.

STOP with the colorful imaginations!


The real-world proof shows conclusively that CCW REDUCE crime and do not pose ANY SORT OF THREAT to law-abiding citizens.

1. A comprehensive national study in 1996 determined that violent crime fell after states made it legal to carry concealed firearms. (10)
2. The results of the study showed:

* States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%; and
* If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly. (11)

Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606). (23) And readers of Newsweek learned in 1993 that "only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The 'error rate' for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high." (24)

Examining all the multiple-victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1999 shows that on average, states that adopt right-to-carry laws experience a 60% drop in the rates at which the attacks occur, and a 78% drop in the rates at which people are killed or injured from such attacks.

To the extent such attacks still occurred in right-to-carry states, they overwhelmingly take place in so-called "gun-free zones."

Contrary to many people's impressions, before the federal law was enacted in 1995 it was possible for teachers and other adults with concealed-handgun permits to carry guns on school property in many states.

Many of the concerns about accidents and other problems are unwarranted. The real problems at schools occurred only after the ban.

(Report Comment)
Jack Jones April 17, 2009 | 5:30 a.m.

No shootings in northern Michigan have been connected to concealed weapon permit holders.

Mass shooter at Appalachian School of Law stopped by armed students.

Armed shooter at a school stopped by armed principal.

So there you have it. Conclusive REAL WORLD evidence that citizens who have the right to carry concealed weapons prevent crimes. Conclusive REAL WORLD evidence that citizens who have the right to carry are absolutely responsible and do not commit crimes or acts of aggression with their weapons.

Conclusive real world evidence that citizens with weapons have stopped multiple victim mass shootings on schools WITHOUT harming other students and WITHOUT firing a shot. Simply being presented with the threat of armed retaliation seems to be enough to stop these armed shooters, according to REAL WORLD evidence.

Opponents of this bill can come up with all sorts of imaginative ways in which armed students can cause grief, but the facts laid our before you(I have much more, this word count sucks) prove conclusively that CCW holders are extremely responsible and do not pose a danger to those around them; infact they are instrumental in lowering crime rates across the board.

(Report Comment)
Jack Jones April 17, 2009 | 5:39 a.m.

One more piece... I'm a student at MU and a member of the Army National Guard. I take 100% responsibility for all of my actions, this includes my personal safety. Why do any of you think you have the right to dictate to me where I can and cannot defend myself? This is a life or death situation. People who oppose the bill are saying that I do not have the fundamental right to defend my own LIFE when I am on campus. Why?

In the State of Missouri a citizen with a CCW license can legally carry a firearm almost anywhere; school campuses being one of the very few prohibited areas. Statistics show that citizens who carry concealed are extremely responsible and instances of citizens using their concealed weapon to commit a crime are almost non-existent. There is no real-world evidence to back up the assertions that students carrying concealed weapons would make campus a more dangerous place.

In-fact nation-wide statistics show that homicide, rape, and robbery cases drop dramatically when states allow citizens to protect themselves by legalizing the right to carry concealed weapons. The fact is that law-abiding citizens who go through the trouble of obtaining a CCW permit are the most responsible individuals in our nation.

Criminals by their very definition do not obey the law. Therefore any ban on weapons only effects law abiding individuals. Every multiple victim mass shooting has occurred in areas where citizens were prohibited from legally carrying weapons. This didn't stop the shooter; it disarmed their victims.

Why would a citizen with a CCW suddenly turn into a dangerous and unstable individual on campus? This is a person who is allowed to carry in practically every other setting(workplace, home, movie theatre) and does so daily without incident. It doesn't make sense.

Guns do not cause an otherwise responsible and non-violent individual to commit crimes and act out violently. Therefore granting responsible individuals the right to arm themselves on our campus for the purposes of self-defense would lead to an overall safer campus.

(Report Comment)
Paul Rutherford April 23, 2009 | 4:06 p.m.

I tell ya what. Let's just hire a campus Sheriff, and some deputies. Next, build a jail on campus, repave the streets with dirt, or at least cobblestone. Finally..., and most importantly, FIRE THE LEGISLATIVE IDIOT WHO PROPOSED THIS NONSENSE!!!!

(Report Comment)
Jenni Stechmann August 25, 2009 | 12:10 p.m.

I love how this article completely overlooks the fact that this is small part of this bill. This is the negotiating factor. This bill could pass without this portion in it.

Did you know that in MO, you can legally conceal a weapon in your vehicle if you are 21 years of age? And that's WITHOUT a permit, WITHOUT training. Concealed Carry permits require an 8 hour class on the safe usage of guns, gun laws, when you can and cannot carry, when you can and cannot defend yourself/others, etc. If someone has bothered to go through this class, THEY'RE NOT THE ONES YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT!!!

You'd better believe that there are people who carry guns on university campuses - ILLEGALLY! If you're a professor or a student who has any sense at all, you know this quite well. Don't be so blinded to the fact that universities are NOT any safer than anywhere else. If you think you're safe just because you're on campus, you're a fool.

(Report Comment)
Adam Wood March 18, 2010 | 11:02 a.m.

What many fail to realize is that a good majority of students aren't the type who care to defend themselves; that is their choice and their right. It isn't as though every student is going to be carrying.

However, those students that do and receive training should be free to carry at school just as they are nearly every other place in this state and 35 other states under the MO CCW permit.

I do understand the Police Dept's stand on active shooter identification, though that is a training issue. Any CCW holder who is running down the hall after an incident, gun in hand needs more training. We address this topic in length whether it be at the school, at a mall, or even in your own home. Responding officers don't know you from the murderer, rapist or kidknapper you are defending yourself or family from.

This is a topic that gets many people very emotional. The comments about fraternities are ridiculous. Yes, I'm sure instead of hazing, they will just start having gunfights and carrying out hits on other fraternities; highly unlikely.

Those who aren't familiar with the subject stand outside in their bubble, convinced the streets will run red with blood! Well it hasn't happened yet with CCW holders and I bet it won't happen any time soon.

(Report Comment)
tina inman April 6, 2010 | 7:27 p.m.

Please people---WAKE you honestly think that the shootings in all these schools was done with a gun that was either legal or registered to the person doing the shooting???? think about this..if we can send 18 year old KIDS to iraq and give them a gun to INTENTIONALLY kill people,where do you get off saying that you need to be older to have a gun legally???? HOW does this make any sense??? i really dont understand.and i am sure it isnt JUST me that dont understand.
NOW i know that there is people that is saying i am nuts,but regretably i have a good reason for believing this. i know from personal experience.2 1/2 years ago if a relative of mine would have had a mean of defense,he wouldnt have been stabbed in the heart and lung by someone who didnt care what his actions have caused.this is NOT a gang thing,this is a guy who busted his butt for his family and drove a truck for a living.spending weeks away from his family just to make ends meet.the guy who did this JUST DIDNT LIKE THE WAY HE WAS tell me how horrible this idea is...if he wouldve had a mean of defense he wouldnt be off work STILL.this has made a big impact on the whole family and it will never be the look at things alot different when this happens to someone close to you.i used to be TOTALLY against handguns and now i own one myself and have the license to carry concealed.
none of us have the right to tell someone else what is right for them.i have a son that is 19 and if this passes,on his 21st birthday i will buy him a handgun and pay for his license to carry it.he will never be in the same shoes that his father was in.YES the man i am talking about is my husband and this has turned our life totally upside down.think about how you would feel if this happened to your happens alot more than most think it does.i dont think the lawmakers are as off base as most before you have an opinion,think about how being a victim would affect you if something happened to someone YOU love.

(Report Comment)

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