Missouri Western to Remain Gun Free

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A recently passed Missouri Senate bill which allows citizens to conceal and carry without a permit won’t change the no-gun policy here on Missouri Western’s campus.
SB 656 does, however, raise some concerns in that citizens are no longer obligated to take the used-to-be required class on gun safety and the rights of gun owners. Consequently, they may be confused on where they’re allowed to conceal and carry.
Not only that, but, if the occasion arises in which the citizen feels the need to pull out their gun, they aren’t necessarily prepared the way they should be.
Kip Wilson, a professor in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academy Director, spends his time teaching students how to properly use guns and evaluating their ability to perform.
“We spend many hours, between seventy and eighty hours, on firearms training, and during the course of just handgun training, we’ll shoot between seven hundred and a thousand rounds. ‘And I’ve had some people who still couldn’t qualify, and they didn’t graduate because they couldn’t qualify,” Wilson said.
These students are training to properly handle guns by professional instruction over the course of many hours of training through hands on experience, and some of them don’t qualify to use that gun.
Regular citizens wouldn’t have occasion to shoot nearly as many rounds.
Timothy Kissock, Risk Manager, is finding ways to make it clear to those coming onto campus that guns aren’t tolerated.
“We’re discussing whether we should put up signs or not,” Kissock said. “Our concern is if we put up signs, we don’t want people to think if a sign isn’t somewhere that they’re allowed to carry it [a gun] there.”
This gun law was passed by the General Assembly, vetoed by governor Nixon, and then the General Assembly overrode that veto.
SB 656 will be enacted in January (so don’t start carrying your guns just yet), which leaves time to wonder how it got passed and what’s going to happen because of it.
“If everyone follows the law and school policy, I don’t think it increases the risk. That’s a big ‘if,’” Kissock said. “It’s a part of this liberalization of carrying guns that’s been going on nationally for 20 years.”
Wilson gave a differing view.
“I don’t think that things are gonna change dramatically,” Wilson said. “I think that most people who really intended to carry a weapon had conceal and carry already.”
Elizabeth Comella, a first-year student, had done some research on the bill when she found out the veto had been overrode.
“You’ve heard about gun violence on the news, you know, and you start thinking, is this going to be normal now?” Comella said. “It seems to me that this is just gun lobbyists doing their thing in Jefferson City.”