At least one state representative is proposing new limits on gun rights, while other lawmakers want to expand them. Legislation will be offered next year by Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) that would allow law enforcement or family members to temporarily take away guns from those showing signs of hurting themselves or others.
“The situation that happened with the Santa Barbara shooting, the parents tried desperately out of town to notify law enforcement that their son was heavily armed and was also acting very erratic. They considered him dangerous and yet there was nothing law enforcement could do,” said Newman.
She offered such legislation this year but it didn’t make it out of committee. Newman said the gun lobby has increased their efforts in the Legislature.
“We’ve got to have a way to intervene when at least family members are in danger.” said Newman. “We’ve got to concentrate on saving lives.”
Newman is also proposing legislation that would require federal background checks on those buying guns online and at gun shows.
“Not just Missourians, but Americans are just fed up,” said Newman. We are not safe anywhere and mostly it’s because you don’t know who is armed or what they’re going to do. At least let’s do background checks. At least keep the guns out of the hands of those who should not have them.
She also offered such a bill this year but it didn’t leave committee.
“There is no background check on buying your gun on the internet. You can buy whatever you want, as much as you want, as much ammunition as you want and there are no questions asked,” said Newman.
Meanwhile, Senators Bob Dixon (R-Springfield) and Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown) are offering in 2016 bills that would allow people to carry concealed weapons on Missouri’s college campuses.
“After the Oregon shooting, which was ironically a gun-free zone, I asked myself the question if gun-free zones work, then why did I do all this work on the criminal code? We could just put up crime-free zone signs. The truth of the matter is they don’t. They actually are just a sign to criminals that students are sitting ducks,” said Dixon. “I think the one thing that we all have as a common concern, at least those I know in higher education, is the safety of the students. I guarantee you there’s people carrying on campus right now.”
Dixon’s and Munzlinger’s bills would exempt colleges that have metal detectors at every building entrance and armed guards on campus.