Representative Ron Hicks has distributed an amendment to SB 656 which would add his conceal carry on transit language to the bill. SB 656 is a bill dealing with other conceal carry provisions. Since this amendment has been distributed, please consider reaching out to your representatives today asking them to oppose the amendment if it is offered. Find your Representative here: http://www.house.mo.gov/member.aspx
Various bills were introduced in the MO House of Representatives and the MO Senate this session which would allow individuals with conceal/carry permits to carry their firearms on public transit buses, vans, trains, and other spaces owned or operated by a public transit provider. In light of the understanding that allowing firearms on public transit may serve as a detriment to ridership and has not been proven to enhance safety and security of the system, many Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) members have opposed any legislation which would allow carrying concealed weapons (CCW) on transit. Several Missouri transit providers including Metro, KCATA, and City Utilities of Springfield have publicly expressed opposition to these bills as well. Reasons cited for opposing legislation included the lack of local control to determine what was best for the particular system and passenger safety concerns.
“A safe, reliable, affordable, and efficient public transportation system in Missouri increases access to health care, education, and employment in our state. However, ridership experience — especially safety and security on platforms, stations, trains and buses — must be a top priority. If the public does not have confidence in a system’s safety and security, they are less likely to use the system and less likely to support public transit. Allowing firearms on transit is not the answer to enhancing the safety and security of these systems,” said Cindy Baker, President of the MPTA. The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) was established in 1980 to provide a unified voice for public and specialized transportation providers in Missouri and to work toward elevating the status of public transit as a priority. Thirty-five years later we continue to work to ensure transit has a voice in this state. MPTA transit provider members provide more than 67 million rides almost everywhere for everybody every day in Missouri, and they employ thousands in Missouri’s rural and urban communities.