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Concealed weapons opponent pushes bill before Senate committee

March 14, 2001
By: Maggie Rotermund
State Capital Bureau
Links: SB 629

JEFFERSON CITY - A staunch opponent of concealed weapons pushed his bill to a Senate committee Wednesday to allow residents to carry concealed weapons.

Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, told the Senate Crime Committee that he's still opposed to allowing people to carry concealed weapons. But, Jacob said, the law is likely to pass and he wants to make sure certain precautions are included in the legislation.

"I think we are evenly divided in the state of Missouri. There are those that feel they have a constitutional right to carry a weapon and those who are afraid of them," Jacob said.

Jacob took legislation defeated by a vote of the people in 1999 as Proposition B and amended it. The bill would give control of permit licensing to the State Highway Patrol, instead of the local sheriff's office.

"The Highway Patrol could set up a procedure and say who, when and how people get permits," Jacob said.

The bill would require that gun owners stipulate to four conditions when applying for the permit. The owner must sign an affidavit affirming there is a safety device on the gun and it can only be transported in the glove compartment or trunk of a vehicle.

The concealed weapon could not be carried into a sporting event or any place where alcohol is served. If a gun is found in the possession of a child under the age of 12 or a person previously convicted of a crime, the gun-owner would face a felony charge.

"I've heard from law abiding citizens saying "trust us" ad nauseum lately. But we've had five school shootings in the last week and all of those weapons were owned by law abiding citizens," said Jacob.

While sponsoring a concealed weapons bill, Jacob spent part of his testimoney citing problems with the idea.

And the idea faced opposition outright opposition from other witnesses.

"I've handled dozens of murders, rapes, robberies, assaults over the past several years. In most of these cases, actually in all of these cases, the victim was ambushed," said Jeanette Graviss, a chief warrant officer with the St. Louis City Police Department.

She continued, "So if this bill is designed so that people that carry weapons can protect themselves, it's not going to work. Experience tells me its not going to work."

The bill still faces debate in the committee before heading to a vote.