Missouri transit systems oppose bill to allow guns on trains - KMOV.com

Missouri transit systems oppose bill to allow guns on trains

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Just days after two people were arrested for a violent attack on a Metrolink train, Missouri lawmakers are mulling a plan that would let you carry a gun on public transit.

Rep. Ron Hicks, R-St. Peters, presented the bill for public testimony Wednesday afternoon. It would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit to bring a gun on a bus or train. However, it faces opposition from public transit officials and leaders in St. Louis.

The bill was introduced a few months ago but with the recent assault on a Metrolink, Hicks says it's time for riders to take matters into their own hands.

“If they can't protect me while I'm on their bus or train or taxi or whatever the public transportation that they're on, I ought to be able to take it into my own hands and protect myself,” he said in an interview from his office in Jefferson City.

Hicks said during the two times he and his wife took the MetroLink to a Cardinals game they felt uncomfortable.

“One time we saw a man with a gun in his waistband,” he explained.

Metro does not support the bill. Metro CEO John Nations traveled to Jefferson City Wednesday to speak to lawmakers about the issue.

“The agency prohibits weapons of any type (concealed or open) on Metro transit vehicles and property, and we officially oppose the proposed Missouri legislation regarding concealed weapons on public transit,” said Metro spokesperson Patti Beck.

St. Louis Metro Police and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay also oppose the idea, saying more guns in more places will not make anyone safer.

Hicks says that's why his bill only allows for those trained to carry a weapon are covered in the bill.

“If a gun was pulled, what's behind the person you're shooting at? What if you miss? So you do have a lot of scenarios that play out in your head, but the bottom line is if you're trained to do so it helps a lot,” he explained.

Hicks says one change that could be made to the bill following Wednesday's public testimony was an amendment that would allow transit authorities to check to ensure someone has a permit for their gun, but the details have yet to be worked out.

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