Missouri proposal would allow guns on Metro trains and buses
By Eric Lorenz
(KMOV.com) -- A Missouri lawmaker has proposed legislation that would make it legal for those with a conceal and carry permit to carry a gun on city trains and buses.
State Representative Ed Schieffer (Dem. from Troy, Mo.) is sponsoring the bill. House Bill 1483 states that a "political subdivision cannot prohibit a person with a valid concealed carry endorsement from carrying a concealed firearm onto a train or public bus."
The argument here is that this will make people feel safer and, in turn, more people will use Metro transportation.
"Anytime you possess firearms I believe that is going to be the greatest deterrent to crime and we are trying to make it safer for law abiding citizens," Representative Delus Johnson (R), a co-sponsor of the bill, said.
On the other side of the argument, opponents say fewer people will ride because they do not want to board buses or trains knowing people are packing pistols.
"I would not feel safe at all," Maurice Henderson, a Metro rider, said. "There is already enough violence going on out here already and to be able to carry a gun, that is just asking for trouble."
If the proposal becomes law, it would block cities like St. Louis and Kansas City from using local restrictions to ban concealed handguns on public transportation.
According to STLToday.com, Metro officials said crime is not a widespread problem on their vehicles. In 2010, there were 16 assaults and three robberies.
Representative Shieffer told the Post-Dispatch that he introduced the proposal after gun advocates contacted him.
There is no conceal and carry law in Illinois, so riders who travel from Missouri into Illinois would not be able to carry a weapon.
Metro Transit said they have uniformed officers from St. Louis city and county as well as St. Clair County, Illinois, to patrol the trains. It also uses undercover officers.