U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- HB 52 in Missouri is written to remove some prohibitions existing in one of the gun free zones in Missouri. It allows people with concealed carry permits to carry their defensive firearms on public transportation. First, the current law. From House Bill NO. 52, mo.gov:
Paragraph 3(11) of Section 70.441:
(11) Except as otherwise provided under section 571.107, no weapon or other instrument intended for use as a weapon may be carried in or on any facility or conveyance, except for law enforcement personnel. For the purposes hereof, a weapon shall include, but not be limited to, a firearm, switchblade knife, sword, or any instrument of any kind known as blackjack, billy club, club, sandbag, metal knuckles, leather bands studded with metal, wood impregnated with metal filings or razor blades; except that this subdivision shall not apply to a rifle or shotgun which is unloaded and carried in any enclosed case, box or other container which completely conceals the item from view and identification as a weapon;
The bill adds the below addition to 571.107, The addition exempts permit holders, while they are carrying a concealed firearm.
Theoretically, if HB 52 passes, permit holders could still be arrested for the concealed carry any of numerous other weapons, such as knives or clubs.
Here is the relevant new part of Section 571.107, exempting permit holders:
3. Not withstanding any provision of this chapter or chapter 70, 577, or 578 to the contrary, a person carrying a firearm concealed on or about his or her person who is lawfully in possession of a valid concealed carry permit or endorsement shall not be prohibited or impeded from accessing or using any publicly funded transportation system and shall not be harassed or detained for carrying a concealed firearm on the property, vehicles, or conveyances owned, contracted, or leased by such systems that are accessible to the public. For purposes of this subsection, “publicly funded transportation system” means the property, equipment, rights-of-way, or buildings, whether publicly or privately owned and operated, of an entity that receives public funds and holds itself out to the general public for the transportation of persons. This includes portions of a public transportation system provided through a contract with a private entity but excludes any corporation that provides inter city passenger train service on railroads throughout the United States or any private partnership in which the corporation engages.
Missouri passed Constitutional Carry in 2016, overriding Governor Nixon’s veto in that year.
No permit is required to carry concealed weapons in most of Missouri. Why limit the carry of weapons on public transportation to hidden, unloaded rifles and shotguns for anyone; and hidden pistols for people with concealed carry permits?
The sensible thing would be to prohibit the carry on public transportation to legal weapons by people who may legally carry weapons.
Perhaps this incremental reform is the best which can be moved through the Missouri legislature at this time.
Improvements that seem plausible would be:
Replace “concealed firearm” with “legal weapon“
It makes no sense to allow concealed unloaded rifles and shotguns, and/or loaded handguns, and forbid all other legal weapons.
“carrying a firearm concealed on or about his or her person who is lawfully in possession of a valid concealed carry permit or endorsement”
“carrying a legal weapon on or about his or her person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon.”
It makes no sense to trust people to carry all through the state and forbid their carry on public transportation.
It seems the law is designed to disarm poor people.
HB 52 is an incremental improvement. It is better than nothing.
Perhaps the legislature will see fit to improve HB 52 with appropriate amendments.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.