Yesterday, the House General Laws committee heard testimony on HB 258, legislation that would allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in Missouri’s most sensitive areas. The legislation would allow more guns in numerous public places they don’t belong — including K-12 schools, college campuses, bars, and daycares.
The room was packed with those opposing the bill, reports saying opponents outnumbered supporters three-to-one. Concerned citizens and public officials alike came from across the state to tell lawmakers why they should reject this legislation. Here’s what they’re saying:
- A representative from the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce raised the point that such a bill could have economic impacts on cities like St. Louis. A bill allowing guns everywhere could force Missouri visitors to rethink where they would spend their time and money.
- The Lincoln University police chief spoke to the concerns for students’ safety, especially if there were an active shooter situation. In fact, armed civilians have put law enforcement in danger, delayed law enforcement responses, and posed a risk to innocent bystanders during active shooter crises.
- Dozens of volunteers with Missouri Moms Demand Action attended the hearing to oppose the bill. Jean Knapp, a volunteer who testified against the bill, argued there is no evidence that guns in more places will save lives. And Susan Randolph, a volunteer from Jefferson City, observed an increase in the number of firearm-involved incidents in her city.
The message to lawmakers is loud and clear: HB 258 is a threat to public safety in Missouri.
If you have any questions on the legislation or would like to talk to any volunteers with Moms Demand Action on the subject, please don’t hesitate to reach out.