Students, with the appropriate permits, might soon be able to carry concealed guns into classrooms, dining halls or laboratories if a bill allowing such continues to make its way through the Missouri General Assembly.
The Missouri House gave first-round approval Wednesday, 106-41.
University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee publicly disapproved of the bill, saying that students should have the freedom to exchange ideas in an environment they know is gun-free. But the bill's sponsor, state Rep. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, said students are sitting there like "a bunch of sheep" because weapons are not allowed on campuses.
Those for and against the bill are supporting their arguments by citing college campus shootings.
“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," Forsee said. But during debate Wednesday, several House members said such a law could help prevent an incident similar to the Virginia Tech shootings.
“All I want to do is be able to protect myself and allow my friends to be able to protect themselves,” said Jonathan Ratliff, MU sophomore and campus leader for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
If students were allowed to carry concealed guns on campus, would tragedies such as the Virginia Tech shootings be prevented, or would it liken the chance of such incidents?