Elections have consequences. The presidential election of Donald Trump has been occupying most of the news space. The gun culture did very well in state and local elections. In Missouri, a Republican, Eric Greitens, replaces former Governor Nixon. Governor Nixon was decidedly anti-Second Amendment. An omnibus gun law reform bill was passed over his veto in Missouri last year. That bill included permitless or “Consititutional” carry.
Originally the bill contained a watered down provision for the exercise of Second Amendment rights at public institutions of higher learning. Current Missouri law allows campus administrations to ban weapons on campus. All 13 institutions that offer a four year degree in Missouri have banned carry on campus. From gopusa.com:
Missouri law currently prohibits concealed firearms at higher education institutions “without the consent of the governing body” of that college, the exception to the rule being university law enforcement officers.
At least four bills introduced between the Missouri House and Senate in 2016 would have changed that statute. One version, sponsored by Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Nixa, that would have allowed full-time employees and faculty, but not students, to have firearms on campus, was later attached to a wide-ranging gun bill. The measure was removed just before the bill passed.
Republicans kept their 3 to 1 margins in the Missouri Senate, 26 to 8. In the House the Republican majority is nearly the same as last year, 115 to 45, with 1 independent. In 2016, the numbers were 117 to 46, no independents.
Permitless, or “Constitutional” carry reform was passed with overwhelming majorities of 112 to 41 in the House and 24 to 6 in the Senate. You might expect campus carry to pass and be signed into law, now that a Republican governor will be in office.
But Greitens is a political outsider. He was not endorsed by the NRA. The NRA endorsed Koster, the Democrat candidate for Governor, who used to be a Republican. Greitens is a recent GOP convert who used to be a Democrat. He talked about supporting Second Amendment rights during the election. He was a Navy Seal. He is a best selling author. I hope that he does well.
Once Greitens is in office, we will see if his actions match his words. I have watched numerous efforts to pass campus carry, several successful, many not. I have been amazed at the clout the higher education lobby has. They hold power far beyond what you would expect. They control no media. They are consumers of tax dollars. Yet politicians give them enormous credibility and tend to bow to their whims.
Campus carry of some form will likely pass the legislature in Missouri in 2017. I do not know if it will be signed by Governor Greitens.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.