Students, employees and visitors at all four University of Missouri campuses are now allowed to store their guns in vehicles. This comes after the UM System Board of Curators met Friday to approve a new firearms policy.
The curators voted 8-1 to dismiss the previous regulations and incorporate the new policy regarding gun possession. Curator Greg Hoberock cast the single vote opposing the policy change.
The new policy prohibits the “open possession of and discharge of firearms” and reiterates the UM System’s existing ban on concealed firearms. While it does not address the storage of guns in vehicles, state law allows guns to be stored in vehicles on state property.
The board decided to reconstruct the policy despite concerns raised by President Mun Choi, other UM System chancellors and campus police chiefs who worried about the prospect of higher crime rates on the campuses.
“Our four police chiefs all indicated that they are concerned about gun thefts, and gun thefts lead to additional crimes. ... It does bring me concern about safety on campus,” Choi said at the close of the meeting.
The new ruling expands on a decision made last month, when curators voted to allow university employees to keep guns in locked vehicles. That decision was limited to employees.
The issue dates back to 2015, when MU associate law professor Royce de R. Barondes filed a lawsuit against the curators and the UM president, arguing the policy infringed upon his constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon.