Conceal and carry permits would be extended to college campuses under a bill approved in the House.
Part of House debate focused on the opposition to conceal and carry on campus voiced by college presidents and administrators. Rep. Margo McNeil (D-Florissant) told colleague the original bill, which would have expanded the Castle Doctrine, had merit, but now it overrides the wishes of university presidents who don’t want any part of conceal and carry.
"This bill is really about tying the hands of university administrators to keep their campus safe for students and for faculty members," McNeil said during House floor debate.
Yet, supporter Brian Munzlinger, a Republican representative from Williamstown, believes the fear of college administrators is misplaced.
"This is the law abiding citizens that our college administrators are fearing when they should be fearing criminals that are going to be rapists or come in and create mayhem in one of our college classes," Munzlinger said.
Munzlinger and other supporters noted that a Missouri citizen must undergo training and pass an extensive background check to carry a concealed weapon.
House passage came on the second anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre on the Blacksburg, Virginia campus. That shooting killed 32. In February of the following year, a gunman killed five on the Northern Illinois campus in DeKalb, Illinois. In both incidents, the male gunman turned his weapon on himself and committed suicide.
One representative during House debate suggested the state needed fewer guns and more mental health services.
HB 668 now is headed to the Senate.