KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday, that would allow concealed carry in churches, daycares and bars, among other locations.
House Bill 1936 extends the list of places where gun owners can carry a concealed weapon — whether they have a permit or not.
"The definition of a criminal is someone who doesn't follow the law. We should be giving an individual the ability to protect themselves in any situation," said state Rep. Jered Taylor, a Republican from Nixa.
This is the second year Taylor has introduced this bill.
Currently, in Missouri, there are 17 locations where concealed carry is not allowed. Taylor's bill would narrow that list.
If passed, the bill would allow concealed carry at amusement parks, casinos, child care facilities, churches, hospitals, stadiums, polling locations and local government buildings, including public universities and colleges.
"You cannot carry into those locations unless you have express permission from the property owner. What I am trying to do is leave it up to the property owner and let them decide what they want to allow and not allow," said Taylor.
To opt out, private businesses would have to post signs prohibiting guns. Government buildings and public universities would not have that option.
"When I think about gun violence in KC and the legislation that is happening in Jefferson City, there is a huge disconnect," said AdHoc president Damon Daniel.
Based on his experiences helping victims of crime, Daniel said he does not believe guns are the solution. In fact, hours before a committee passed HB 1936, he joined the Jackson County prosecutor in announcing a new service to help innocent bystanders of crimes.
"That's just not the solution. The solution to curb violence in Kansas City, especially when we talk about homicides, is we need more economic opportunities, we need more jobs, more mental health providers," said Damon, who added other than having a gun to protect one's home "no one wants a lot of people walking around carrying guns."
Since the bill passed out of a House rules committee, it can be brought for debate on the House floor anytime.
To read the bill in its entirety, see the window below.