Concealed-carry bill stalls in Missouri Senate committee

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — With four days remaining in the state legislative session, further progress was stalled Monday on the House bill that would expand the Castle Doctrine and allow concealed carry on college campuses.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Kenny Jones, R-Clarksburg, would allow lessees to shoot to kill aggressive intruders of rented property and would lower the minimum age for acquiring a concealed-carry license from 23 to 21 years of age. An amendment to the bill would void provisions that prohibit concealed-carry policies on college campuses.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held public testimony on the bill Monday evening but did not vote on it because the committee chairman was not present, said state Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon, who served as chairman for the committee hearing.

Four days are left for lawmakers to pass bills in the House and Senate and send them to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk. Despite no committee vote on Monday and legislative procedural rules that require specific waiting periods, the bill still has time to pass the two legislative chambers before time runs out. Timing in this final week of session is critical; if committee chairman Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Jackson County, does not hold an executive session by Tuesday afternoon for the committee to vote on the bill, the bill could die.

When asked if he thinks the bill will make it through both chambers given the tight timing, Jones said, "I think there's a slight chance that it might get through the process but very slight."

Jones also said he does not think Nixon would sign the bill into law if the legislation does make it to his desk.

"It probably goes farther than he would want to support as far as carrying concealed and self-protection," said Jones, a former Moniteau County sheriff. "I carried the bill forward because it is a castle-doctrine extension. We don't have enough policemen in this state or in this country to defend us all at all times. Sometimes, you just have to take things upon yourself to defend yourself. This is not an aggression bill — this is a defense bill."

The committee's public hearing on Monday featured five witnesses speaking in favor of the legislation, including a doctoral student at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. No one spoke in opposition of the bill.

Isaiah Kellogg, who has spent 10 years at Missouri S&T and intends to teach at a university after earning his degree, said he supports the bill because it would increase campus safety.

"I am going to be in academia for the foreseeable future — that will be my career — so I will be on university campuses for most of my life until I retire," Kellogg said in his public testimony. "So this is very important to me, to have the ability to protect myself."

Kellogg has held a concealed-carry license since March 2005 and usually carries a snub-nosed revolver, which he must keep in the trunk of his car when he is on campus. Kellogg said Missouri S&T's code of conduct does not allow concealed weapons on campus, and if the legislation passes, the university is not obligated to change its code of conduct. But if the bill passes, Kellogg said students can argue for concealed carry with the university board.

"We've taken down the legal barrier," Kellogg said, speaking hypothetically. "Now, we have to take down the code-of-conduct barrier."

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Roger Baggs May 12, 2009 | 11:53 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Todd Smith May 12, 2009 | 12:54 p.m.

I am opposed to this bill for a number of reasons.
Students in college should not have to worry about guns on campus and focus on gaining an education. Students also at college are highly stressed and getting the right grade to them can be the most important goal in their life.

For example, when I was a student at the University of Central Missouri a student gunned down a journalism professor, David Eschelman, over a failing grade in 1993.

Also, the Kirkwood shooting in 2008, an armed police officer in the chambers did not have enough time to react in order to get his gun out and shoot Cookie Thorton. This happened in front of my eyes and I still remember how he was shot point blank.

I feel that this bill should not go forward.

Todd Smith, survivor of the Kirkwood shooting.

(Report Comment)
Matt Finazzo May 12, 2009 | 5:09 p.m.

Roger, I was at the hearing.

Being fair and balanced as I try to be, Mr. Kellogg made those statements in his public testimony before the committee, and a reporter was right next to him making notes. It was all public testimony, so if anything, responsibility for that disclosure is Mr. Kellogg's alone, and the Vice-Chair of the committee made a remark similar to yours.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich May 12, 2009 | 7:35 p.m.

I wonder if the 7 year old boy kill while in his parents' car on a public road would still be alive if we had stricter gun control laws? The redneck hicks who killed him had legal licenses, too.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich May 12, 2009 | 7:37 p.m.

- PS...who was it that said legal gun carriers were the safest and most law-abiding people around, again?

(Report Comment)
Roger Baggs May 12, 2009 | 10:09 p.m.

I wonder if the 3 year old boy and 4 year old girl killed playing in a playground would still be alive if we had stricter car control laws? The redneck hick who killed them had legal licenses.

See anyone can post an inane comment with a web page to back up a ridiculous statement that on it's face seems reasonable, yet is totally out of sync with reality.

(Report Comment)
Anton Berkovich May 12, 2009 | 10:49 p.m.

Ironically enough, I wouldn't be against stricter laws for getting a car or driver's license. Too many people (especially in Columbia) are terrible at driving and don't deserve to be on the road. If I had my way, I put a standardized IQ test on anything that would put someone in a position to cause a lot of harm to others. I say strict IQ tests for gun licenses, car ownership, parenting (seriously! this would solve so many issues), and becoming a police officer.

So while I see what you were trying to accomplish with your facetious post, I can't help but agree with it.

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock May 13, 2009 | 8:25 a.m.

A previous comment left on this story was removed from this thread for violation of this site's comment policy. While I won't repeat the part that violates the policy, the commenter said the reporter on this story should not have disclosed that Isaiah Kellogg testified that he carries a gun in the trunk of his car. Mr. Finazzo then pointed out that decision rests with Mr. Kellogg since he opted to provide that information in his public testimony.

Hope that clears up any confusion on this thread.

Jake Sherlock
Missourian opinion editor

(Report Comment)
jim Hollis May 18, 2009 | 5:58 p.m.

Todd Smith....had the Kirkwood City Hall not violated citizens' Second Amendment rights "to keep and bear arms...shall not be INFRINGED", possibly not so many would have been killed. Cookie Thorton first surprised and killed those apparently armed - uniformed in the parking lot, then in the meeting room....before continuing to shoot other defenseless citizens. Had a regular citizen had the CCW right, he/she might have saved several lives. Likewise, in the 1993 professor shooting you cited, had that professor or another student been CCW armed, that professor might be alive today. In these two cases, the perp basically was shooting "fish in a barrel" without any chance once he surprised and neutralized the police officers....he was killing in a "free kill zone"....little danger to himself. Students should be more concerned about not having anyone CCW authorized to have a chance to protect them.

Why do I support the concealed carry issue?

I don't carry a gun because I'm angry.
I carry a gun so that I don't have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared. TODD failed to prepare for that unthinkable night...will you contiue to be unprepared should evil come your way again???

I don't carry a gun because I love it.
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me....and because I enjoy not living with fear.

I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don't carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep myself and others from being killed...another form of life insurance.

I don't carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government....police, campus security, administrators,...

I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don't carry a gun because I'm a cowboy....LISTENING KATY STINMETZ?!??!?
I carry a gun because I want to live to the age of 100, and when I die and go to heaven, then I want to be a cowboy.

Police Protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves.
Police do not protect you from crime. Police gather evidence, notify next of kin, write reports, call someone to clean up the mess, and maybe try to catch the perps.

(Report Comment)

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