Missouri Democrat wants guns allowed on buses
Missouri Democratic Representative Ed Schieffer wants to make it possible for transit users in St. Louis and Kansas City to carry guns while on public transportation. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, state lawmakers are reviewing legislation that would block cities such as St. Louis and Kansas City from using local restrictions to ban concealed handguns on city buses and trains. Later today the House General Laws Committee is scheduled to meet and could take up the legislation.
Advocates claim more guns on public transportation will create a safer environment, since criminals will know others will have concealed weapons. Opponents claim regular riders will stop using public transit because they will not know who is carrying a gun.
The Dispatch reports St. Louis Metro officials contend that crime is not a widespread problem on the city’s public buses and trains. The system, which spends more than $10 million a year on safety measures, was one of 17 to earn the Transportation Security Administration’s “Gold Standard” for its commitment to security and passenger safety this year.
According to Metro, the system had 16 assaults and three robberies in Missouri in 2010, the most recent year in which statistics were available. People board Metro trains and buses some 40 million times each year.
Schieffer said he brought the bill forward after gun owners contacted him. For more, visit www.stltoday.com.