Governor Jay Nixon (D) is voicing opposition to House Republicans’ plans to allow teachers in Missouri to carry guns in classrooms.
In a letter to the state’s public school superintendents, Nixon says the proposal would put children at risk and take away the authority of local school districts to keep guns out of classrooms. Scott Holste is the governor’s Press Secretary.
“Now is the time to engage in meaningful discussions on making sure that our schools remain safe places for students and educators," Holste said. "This proposal to arm teachers and undermine the authority of local school boards, this is not really (what) the governor thinks should be considered.”
Holste also says the proposal is unnecessary.
“We have a very strong framework of laws already in place through the Missouri Safe Schools Act which passed about 16 years ago," Holste said. "In fact, Governor Nixon, when he was Attorney General, had a key role in the passage of that bill, which had bipartisan support.”
The Safe Schools Act requires a year of suspension or expulsion for any student who brings a gun to school. Nixon also said in his letter that the new proposal would take away the authority of local school districts to keep guns out of classrooms.
House Bill 70 would allow teachers and administrators who already have conceal-carry endorsements to bring their guns with them onto school property. It's sponsored by State Representative Mike Kelley (R, Lamar) and co-sponsored by more than 20 House Republicans, including Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) and Majority Floor Leader John Diehl (R, Town and Country). The bill was filed less than a week after a lone gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
- See more stories on politics and policy from St. Louis Public Radio, the St. Louis Beacon and Nine Network of Public Media at BeyondNovember.org.