Monday, February 01, 2016

Reiboldt explains gun legislation

(From Rep. Bill Reiboldt, R-Neosho)

Last week a Missouri Senate committee held hearings on two bills that seek to allow college and university students with a legal conceal carry (CC) permit to do so on our state campuses. Supporters of these measures see them as building on 2014 legislation that lowered from 21 to 19 the legal age requirement for conceal carry permits in Missouri, legislation that was vetoed by Governor Nixon but overturned by the General Assembly and ultimately became Missouri law. They state the overall objective of the proposed new legislation is to maintain a safe environment for our students and give them the right to protect themselves on campuses. In regard to this controversial issue, all thirteen of our four-year Missouri universities and several community colleges oppose the bills.

Senate Bill 731, if approved as proposed, would give students with a CC permit permission to carry on campuses, disregarding any administrative ability to say otherwise. The bill lets institutions opt out of the CC provision if they agree to station armed guards and install metal detectors at the entrances of every building on the college or university campuses. Those opposed to this measure say that it would be extremely costly to comply.

Senate Bill 589, if approved as proposed, would not give institutions provisions for opting out of allowing CC permit holders to carry on their campuses. However, certain areas—i.e., large stadiums and places of worship—would be exempt. SB 589 and SB 731 will also apply to private colleges and universities in Missouri if they receive any state money. Currently, school administrators at both private and public higher education facilities in Missouri may remove persons from campus for carrying a concealed weapon, though it is not now a criminal offense to carry if the individual has a proper permit to do so.

In Missouri a CC permit requires 8 hours of training with a licensed instructor. Several law enforcement officers who testified in opposition to the Senate bills said that CC training does not equip a person to respond to an active shooter situation and CC holders are not prepared for such encounters. However, supporters of the Senate bills maintain that it is not the purpose to respond to an active shooter but only for individuals to protect themselves in the event of a life threatening situation on campus.

Part of the idea of the proposed legislation comes from the 2007 shooting on the Virginia Tech University campus where 32 individuals were killed before the shooter took his own life. A college president testifying in opposition to the Senate bills maintains that, if passed, they would actually make college campuses less safe because, in his opinion, “there isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed.” So far there have been very few incidents of mass shootings on college and university campuses, though there have been multiple cases of assault.

Some of the main concerns as far as CC on campuses center around dormitories and residential halls. Opponents theorize that there could be multiple problems, perhaps in the form of accidental shootings or of weapons being stolen from dorm rooms. In addition, it is estimated that as many as one-half of the students on state college campuses binge drink, which would certainly not be conducive to safe and responsible handling if firearms are present. Another concern being voiced is that of suicide, especially as a result of emotional break-ups in relationships between couples.

All CC laws are regulated on a state-by-state basis, and at this time there are no federal laws dealing with CC except at federal facilities or installations. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, seven states now approve CC on college and university campuses. Twenty-two states leave the decision up to individual schools and twenty-one have banned CC completely from their campuses.

As SB 731, SB 589 and other similar House bills make their way through the legislative process, lawmakers must seriously examine the pros and cons associated with permitting CC on Missouri campuses. We want parents and guardians of students to feel comfortable that their children are in a safe environment when they send them off to our state’s institutions of higher education.

The above mentioned bills are just some of the proposals being considered during this session, but they are a long way from being approved or from becoming Missouri law. Discussions and hearings are continuing.


Anonymous said...

Do people become idiots when they are exposed to the State Legislature, or do we simply elect idiots to said Legislature?

Anonymous said...

8:48 PM: Are you aware this is the law of the land in 4 states, Utah (including dorms), Idaho, Colorado, and Mississippi, and will take effect in Kansas and Texas very soon? And without a single atrocity for the gun grabbers to point to?

Especially after the state of Virginia adjudicated the Virginia Tech shooter as requiring treatment, but dropped the ball in both seeing that he got it or adding him to the list of those disqualified from buying guns, and especially with the criminally negligent response of the campus police to his two separate shootings therefore let him slaughter 32 people they'd forced to be disarmed despite the state's careful and very successful shall issue concealed carry law (first place I got a licence, in the late '90s).

Only an idiot wants people to be disarmed in the face of their enemies. And idiots are not running the 42 states that allow 2/3rds of the nations's population to legally carry concealed, again without serious atrocities for the gun grabbers to point to.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Keg Parties and Guns just naturally go together.

Anonymous said...

When there is a report of an active shooter on a campus, the Cops ain't going to take the time to sort out who have permits, they are just going to kill anyone with a weapon displayed. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

When there is a report of an active shooter on a campus, the Cops ain't going to take the time to sort out who have permits, they are just going to kill anyone with a weapon displayed. Good luck with that.

Cops and armed civilians, like in the case of the shooting of the Arizona congresswoman, deal with this sort of situation all the time, and almost always make the right call, since it's generally easy to distinguish between someone actively shooting innocents vs. someone who's stopped an active shooter, or who's waiting for an opportunity to do so.

If an active shooter is trying to kill you, your chances are much better if you stop him and then put your gun back in its holster than worry about the much smaller change the cops showing up minutes late will mistake you for the shooter.

Anonymous said...

I recall at least two instances in Joplin involving Police response in which bystanders were injured and private property destroyed because the Police were not all that accurate in the use of their sidearms. Now, put a civilian in the same situation and who knows how many bystanders are going to get hit. Police are required to stay proficient and spend a hell of a lot of time on a firing range, permit holders are not held to that same standard. I assume you would be in favor of charging any permit holder who shot a bystander in an active shooter situation and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. Hey, the last thing you should want is an untrained civilian involved in such an incident.

Anonymous said...

Police are required to stay proficient

Tell me of the places where they're required to re-qualify more than one time a year.

and spend a hell of a lot of time on a firing range

From everything I've heard, some do, most don't. It certainly isn't relevant to what they do, day in, day out.

permit holders are not held to that same standard.

No, in Missouri only once when they get their permit. But then again, they aren't infamous for dumping their magazines and spraying the surroundings and too often bystanders with bullets while hitting their target only a few times (not that the Joplin police are reported to have this problem to my recollection).

I assume you would be in favor of charging any permit holder who shot a bystander in an active shooter situation and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

Not at all, unless they demonstrated negligence. The target of prosecution should be the shooter, should he survive, under felony murder law or the like if the bystander is only wounded.

You seem to be suggesting we're much better off if an active shooter can mow his targets down like sheep without opposition until the police arrive, and that's assuming the latter have an active shooter doctrine vs. the "secure the perimeter" and wait for the SWAT team and/or negotiate tactic which has resulted in many needless civilian deaths, like at Columbine. Even if a civilian accidentally shoots a bystander, or has to wound a bystander who's behind an active shooter, all but maybe that bystander are better off if the shooter is stopped sooner rather than latter. Especially when so many of them kill themselves at the first hint of opposition.

Were any of those "at least two instances" you recall ones with active shooters, or in which a civilian would be obliged to shoot? Police have obligations to use their guns in situations that civilians can often avoid.

Getting back to the general point, armed civilians, in the real world or the colleges of several states, have shown themselves to be generally responsible, and arguably more so than the "proficient" police you cite. You know this is true, because neither of us can cite a fraction of the cases of irresponsible civilian use of guns in self-defense as we can for police. (Although, again, I get the impression that area police and citizens do a better job than average on this, we have a strong gun culture.)

Anonymous said...

It is probably time to start collecting and melting down the guns across this country. If you can't protect yourself without a gun, you probably don't belong in the gene pool anyway.

Anonymous said...

If you can't protect yourself without a gun, you probably don't belong in the gene pool anyway.

So those of us who are older and no longer fit, who don't directly contribute to the gene pool anymore, should just give up and be victims to the young and strong? Despite the fact that we still help take care of younger folk who are or will be in the gene pool? (When I took my Missouri concealed carry class, the vast majority including myself and my father were older folks past their child bearing, if not child raising years.)

What about women, who are physically less strong? Prior to "God created men and women, and Samuel Colt made them equal", they had to live under the protection of good men. Nowadays, when we allow so many bad men to walk the streets, how do you suggest they protect themselves?