U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-— On March 9, 2022, the Missouri House voted to eliminate the gun-free zones which had been placed on Missouri public transportation by the legislature. Amtrak is excluded. The vote was 101 to 40. Five House members voted present. From HB 1462 at mo.gov:
Notwithstanding 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 intercity passenger train service on railroads throughout the United States or any private partnership in which the corporation engages.
I was able to talk to Mirhad Hasanovic, the legislative assistant to Representative Adam Schnelting. Mirhad explained the bill was amended in the House to reform more of Missouri law than the ban on guns in public transportation.
As it was sent to the Senate, the bill reverses the state law that permit holders may not carry in churches without specific permission from the pastor. A ban on carrying in churches by the legislature appears to be a violation of the free exercise of religion in the First Amendment.
If church officials want to ban people from carrying concealed in their church, the bill would require permit holders to be notified before they could be prosecuted for carrying in the church without permission to do so.
This is the way carrying on most private property is treated in the United States. Armed people have to be notified they are not welcome before any prosecution can take place.
The bill lowers the age requirement to apply for a carry permit from 19 to 18. The bill also waives the training requirement to obtain Missouri concealed carry permit if the person has a military pistol marksmanship award. HB 1462 removes knuckles from the prohibited weapons list.
On April 5th, the SCS in the Senate voted to pass HB 1462.
According to Mirhad, the Senate committee added some sweeteners to the bill as it came from the house. The Senate addition removes switchblade knives and silencers/gun mufflers from the list of weapons prohibited by Missouri law.
It is likely the entire Senate will pass the bill if it comes to a vote.
The key is for the Senate leadership to schedule the bill for a vote before the end of the session on May 14.
The bill has been sent to the Senate in previous years, but died without being acted on.
With the additions, the bill has become a significant Second Amendment restoration bill for Missouri. As with many Second Amendment oriented gun law reforms, the votes are there to pass it.
Many bills die for lack of attention.
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.