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MO Legislator questions “gun free zones”

State Rep. Jered Taylor thinks there’s a problem with guns. Gun free zones. Pioneered by Al Gore, critic say the zones only tell would-be killers that potential victims are defenseless.

The Nixa Republican wants to bar local governments, state government, and Missouri’s public colleges and universities from limiting the legal concealed carry of guns. A state House committee will consider his proposed changes today.

Jered Taylor

“Of all of the ones that have allowed concealed carry on college campus, not a single act of violence, or a threat of violence, or a suicide attempt by a single concealed carry weapon permit holder on one of those campuses has ever happened,” Taylor told Missourinet. “We’ve seen 98% of mass shootings happen in gun-free zones. So, it just proves that just because you post a sign, just because we have it in statute, isn’t stopping anyone from coming into those locations with a gun. It’s actually doing the opposite effect. It’s not allowing an individual who is a law-abiding citizen to protect themselves and potentially protect other people if this happens in one of those locations.”

Taylor is also proposing to expand the number of locations, particularly private businesses including churches, where guns can be carried without a permit. Citizens carrying concealed weapons would still need a permit to carry in the Missouri Capitol and on the state’s college campuses.

“In my opinion, it should be up to the private business owner whether or not they allow guns into their facilities or businesses,” says Taylor. “It shouldn’t be up to the government to make that decision for them.”

Taylor’s proposal has is critics. A non-partisan group of mothers demanding solutions to address the country’s culture of gun violence sees Taylor’s legislation much differently. Missouri Moms Demand Action organizer Kim Westerman of the St. Louis chapter told Missourinet that the proposal would force businesses that don’t want concealed guns on their property to take extra measures.

“This law would make it so everyone has to opt out,” says Westerman. “So, if you’re a bar that doesn’t want guns in your bar, you’d have to post a sign saying, ‘no weapons are allowed’”.

The Missouri House General Laws committee will hear the bill at 12 p.m. today at the state Capitol in Jefferson City.

–Dwight Widaman and wire services