Missouri Lawmakers Consider Allowing Public Transit Riders to Carry

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

Rep. Ed Schieffer, a Democrat from Troy, is sponsoring a bill that would allow people with concealed carry permits to pack on the Missouri public transit systems. He states the goal is to make the riders feel safe, and have more people feel comfortable using the bus or train. There are mixed feelings on the issue though.

St. Louis Metro officials say there were not asked about what they thought about the bill, and they received a Transportation Security Administration’s “Gold Standard” for its commitment to security and passenger safety this year. They spend over $10 million on security measures for the buses and trains, contracting with police departments for security assistance. In 2010, there were 16 assaults and three robberies. That is miniscule to the amount of traffic, which has people boarding about 40 million times.

Some opponents of the bill say they feel comfortable with security officers being armed, but knowing that any John Doe on the bus or train could be packing is unsettling. Some think parents will not let their children ride knowing that other riders may be carrying.

Supporters of the bill like the fact that they can be armed, and think it will create a safer environment, from waiting on the street for the bus, or while being on the bus/train. That it will make criminals more reluctant to strike.

Schieffer says he introduced the bill after being contacted by gun owners. In Missouri to get a concealed weapon permit, one has to pass a test to show that they have been trained in firearm knowledge, from cleaning, to storing, to safety. Then it is a $100 fee for the first permit, which is good for three years, then $50 for renewals after that. From The Kansas City Star.