Bullet-resistant doors and windows could be next for all Missouri school buildings. The Missouri House has approved a wide-ranging public safety bill that would cover first floor entryways and windows large enough for an intruder to get through.

Democrats, including State Rep. Maggie Nurrenburn, D-Kansas City, are outraged by the effort. She said the bill takes the wrong approach.

“Is it next going be body armor for every kid so they can go to school? Because the interesting thing about it doesn’t matter,” said Nurrenburn. “We bulletproof the outside of the buildings. People are walking inside with guns, right? So what happens when the threat is from the inside? I’m just sick and tired of talking about crime prevention or public safety and never addressing the guns. It’s the guns.”

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, said the Republican-controlled Legislature should be restricting access to guns for children and mentally ill people.

“It sure as heck seems like we’re building prisons for our children to get used to,” said Quade. “The other side in this conversation is fortifying that – making it okay and normalized – that our children have to go through these traumatic trainings and events every year of their schooling, so that when the next phase comes in, they’re ready for it.”

The price tag could range from $5.5 million to substantially more.

State Rep. Chad Perkins, R-Bowling Green, said the move would designate state funding to protect public schools.

Other notable pieces in the bill include:

•Creating Blair’s Law, which is the offense of illegally firing a gun.
•Amending the sexual offender registry to clarify that those required to register under federal law must do so in Missouri for life, and it moves all offenses sexual in nature committed against minors to tier III of the registry, the level for the most serious of sex crimes.
•Creating of a conviction integrity unit to investigate claims of innocence.
•Removing of a requirement for St. Louis police department workers and City of St. Louis employees to live in the city.
•Criminalizing the stealing of a letter, postal card, package, bag, or other sealed article delivered, or left to be collect for shipment, by a common carrier or delivery service.

House Bill 1108, sponsored by state Rep. Justin Hicks, heads to the Senate for another look.

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