In the week since the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting left 26 people, including 20 children dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Missouri lawmakers at the federal and state levels have started discussing the outlines of legislation tied to gun control and alternatively, the ability for teachers and staff who have permitted concealed weapons to carry them in schools. One prefiled bill on the subject has the support of more than two dozen lawmakers, including Republican House Speaker Tim Jones and Majority Leader John Diehl, according to the Associated Press.
St. Louis County Police Chief openly talked about the prospect of arming school staff in areas where a School Resource Officer was not present, but conceded Thursday after a meeting with area school districts that it was not supported.
At this point, I don’t suspect we will have this conversation again about arming school officials until the next school shooting,” he told Patch afterward.
Such a proposal would not have the backing of State Rep. Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur).
"I don’t think that there’s one teacher or principal or superintendent that I can imagine that said I want to work in a school, I love teaching, I love children and I also feel comfortable carrying a gun in case an intruder comes in," she told Patch, adding that she would instead favor closing loopholes and tightening restrictions to ensure more responsible gun ownership.
While Republicans will continue to hold large majorities in both chambers during the coming session, thus creating a more favorable environment for pro-gun legislation here, count State Senator John Lamping (R-Ladue) as one who believes this will be handled at the federal level and not in Jefferson City.
"Missouri the way it exists today is very very gun friendly and I don’t think that culture’s going to change unless the federal government makes a new determination. It will not occupy a significant percentage of anybody’s time," Lamping told Patch Thursday.
"Clearly this is an issue that's a federal issue that the federal government looks like they're going to take very, very seriously for the first time in a long time," he said.