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Moms Demand Action Criticizes Legislation to Allow Concealed Firearms on College Campuses

Sara Shahriari

The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, is criticizing the Missouri House for advancing legislation that would allow concealed firearms on college campuses. The Missouri House advances HB575 Monday, which will allow colleges to arm faculty and force public colleges to allow people to carry concealed handguns on campus.

Moms Demand Action has sent representatives to Jefferson City to testify in opposition of the bill and uses social media to drive calls to state legislators.

Catey Terry, a spokesperson and volunteer for Moms Demand Action, says college-age students would be put at risk by having guns present on campus.

“You know, we’re talking about a population of basically 18 to 21-year-olds. We know there is alcohol present. We know students are struggling with anxiety and depression,” Terry said. “There are 100 people killed with a firearm every day and two-thirds of those are suicide.”

She also said there is no proof that having guns on college campuses makes them any safer.

“We strongly do not believe more guns make people safer. If that were true we would be the safest country in the world, and we are not,” Terry said.

The original bill would allow campus faculty to be trained as campus safety officers, but an amendment introduced by Rep. Jared Taylor (R-Nixa) goes further. It allows any person with a concealed carry permit to have a firearm on any university in Missouri.

“We have a constitutionally-secured right to defend ourselves and a constitutionally-secured right to own and possess firearms for that reason,” Taylor said. “I think that just because someone walks from one side of the street onto a college campus, they should not lose that right.”

Taylor said the University of Kansas began allowing concealed firearms on campus in 2017 and saw a drop in crime.

The Kansas City Star reports that KU Public Safety attributed the drop in crime to hiring three additional police officers and three additional security officers, steps the university took to improve campus security after the legalization of concealed carry.