ST. LOUIS — The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would give all school personnel the ability to concealed-carry at school, but not every school has to allow it.
Currently, Missouri law only allows certain teachers and administrators to do this.
HB70 requires school faculty and staff who want to participate to get a concealed carry permit and be approved and designated by the district school board to carry a gun on school property.
State Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch, a Republican that represents Boone County, said her constituents have been asking for a bill like this for some time.
“This is helpful not just in schools, but for example, if you're a school bus driver and somebody wants to try to come on to your bus and harm you and your kids or you’re the school secretary,” Toalson Reisch said.
Representative Ian Mackey, a Democrat representing parts of St. Louis County, said he knows firsthand how this could help in rural school districts with limited law enforcement resources and funding.
“If there's an act of violence, whether that's a shooting or whether that's just some other sort of situation involving violence and harm to others, physical harm to others, where you need that police presence, in many settings, it's going to be 20 or 30 minutes before someone can arrive on the scene,” Mackey said.
Toalson Reisch said if this was in place before the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School shooting it’s possible someone could have stopped the gunman.
“It's not just a rural issue. It's urban. It's everywhere. I think a crime can happen anywhere. And we need to do everything possible to protect our students, our staff, our teachers and ourselves,” Toalson Reisch said.
Mackey said even though he supported this bill he feels the legislature needs to do more.
“We just saw the decision related to the Second Amendment Preservation Act. That and the red flag laws. We know from that CVPA shooting that either or both of those would have prevented that from occurring,” Mackey said.
This bill has now moved onto the senate where they believe they have some support to eventually send it to the governor's desk.
The bill passed the House 120 to 25.