JEFFERSON CITY – In a bill discussed by state lawmakers this week, school districts would have a mandate to notify parents if the districts decide not to designate and arm certain teachers or staff members.

HB 2232, also known as the Safe Schools Act,and sponsored by Rep. Robert Ross, R-Yukon, would also require schools to post a sign that states, “under Missouri law, this school and its staff are authorized to meet threats to student safety with deadly force if necessary,” if they decide to arm employees.

Previous legislation already allows Missouri school districts to designate and train certain staff members to carry concealed weapons, and a specific training process has already been outlined.

Because not all school districts are taking advantage of the ability to arm their staffs, and given the events that have happened around the country, “at the bare minimum, I would love to have one of these signs at every one of our schools, regardless of whether they are actually arming designated teachers,” Ross said.

The rationale behind the required signs comes in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting where 17 people were killed, sparking a national movement to amend gun legislation. It also prompted President Donald Trump to call for raising the age to purchase a firearm.

However, Trump recently backpedaled on raising the age limit, and instead is focusing on arming teachers in schools nationwide, a solution also proposed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Previous legislation also prevented the Sunshine Law from releasing the names of the teachers able to carry gunsto prevent people from being able to determine who’s qualified to carry, Ross said.

Another bill, HB 1382, discussed by House members and sponsored by Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Lake Ozark, would allow concealed carry in a house of worship without explicit permission from the facility.

The bill also requires houses of worship that do not allow guns to post a sign that indicates “no guns allowed.” By default, conceal and carry permit holders would be able to have guns unless the houses of worship explicitly said they could not.

HB 2276, a bill that gives judges the ability to take away violent individuals’ guns, as well as revoke their right to buy more, was amended and passed through the committee as well.

Supervising editor is Mark Horvit, horvitm@missouri.edu.

  • State Government reporter. Reach me on my cell: (913) 909-6133

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