A pair of bills in Missouri were just introduced that would repeal all gun-free zones in the state, by removing all state-imposed legal restrictions on places where carrying a firearm is not allowed. These bills also institute state preemption of firearm laws, so that local cities and towns may not impose their own gun control laws upon the people. Private property rights would still apply, so all homeowners and businesses would still be able to keep their rules against guns, although they could not be used to justify an arrest.
The Crime Prevention Research Center compiled statistics on mass shootings over nearly 20 years and reported that 96.2 percent of public mass shootings occurred in gun free zones in the period they studied starting in 1998 and ending in 2015.
The two bills, House Bill 258 Senate Bill 121, were sponsored by Missouri House Representative Jered Taylor (R - District 139) and Missouri Senator Eric Burlison (R - District 20).
Another word of warning about this HB258, as like others we've looked at lately, it is long. On top of that, this one is worded in a confusing manner. Our analysis below is preliminary only and needs to be reviewed by a lawyer before any of this can be taken as a true reading of its meaning.
This bill would seemingly do away with these gun-free zones:
- Schools (would still require permission unless you are a teacher or school personnel)
- Elementary or Secondary schools
- School buses (unless going to a school-sanctioned event, unless other circumstances apply)
- voting precincts
- amusement parks
- sports arenas with a capacity of under 5,000 people
- government meetings (but not legislative sessions)
- polling places
- vehicles (but circumstances apply; a lawyer really needs to review this)
- riverboat casinos
SB121 closely mirrors HB258, with far more streamlined language. It's a far easier read, so if you'd like to read either of these bills (or both), we suggest you start here.
Keep in mind that both versions keep several restrictions in place, such as:
- Airport restricted areas beyond the checkpoints
- Schools, without a permit
- School buses going to a school-sanctioned event
- Prisons and police stations
- Federally prohibited places
- Private property with specially approved signs banning firearms
- Arenas with a capacity of over 5,000 people