Missouri Legislature overrides governor’s veto, approves arming teachers bill

Last week Missouri lawmakers stood up for the Second Amendment and overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that will allow school districts to arm teachers and administrators provided they successfully complete special gun-safety training programs.

Under the language of the bill, districts can select teachers or other employees to serve as “school protection officers,” giving them the option to carry a concealed firearm or pepper spray while working in the classroom or on school grounds.

However, the law which will take effect next month does not make it mandatory for schools to train employees to become school protection officers, as the sponsor of the bill state Sen. Will Kraus told Reuters.

“This is just an option for school districts, it’s not mandatory,” Sen. Kraus said Thursday.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon briefs reporters on his decision to veto a bill in Creve Coeur, Missouri, on June 24, 2014.  (Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon briefs reporters on his decision to veto a bill in Creve Coeur, Missouri, on June 24, 2014. (Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The GOP-dominated legislature initially approved the bill, known as SB 656, with favorable majorities in both chambers: 111-28 in the House and 21-7 in the Senate, perhaps indicating that the override of Nixon’s veto was imminent.

The Democratic governor was unambiguous about his feelings on SB 656,

“I have consistently opposed the arming of teachers as a means to keep schools safe. It is simply the wrong approach, and one that I do not support,” wrote Nixon in his July veto statement.

In addition to allowing school district’s to arm teacher, the bill lowered the minimum age required to get a concealed carry permit from 21 to 19 and allowed permit holders to carry openly regardless of town and city statutes prohibiting open carry.

Moreover, the bill said that doctors could not be required to ask about a patient’s access to guns and public housing authorities could not discriminate against gun-owning tenants.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Jim Poteet September 22, 2014, 2:15 pm

    Somewhere in the past these people who were hired to administer the peoples’ business which includes Govs. AND the president of US took it upon themselves to inject their own personal philosophy into the administration of the various state constitutions. I contend that the various state legislatures are charged with that responsibility and priviledge as the elected represenatives of the PEOPLE and not the person HIRED to take care of the peoples business, not ride herd over them.

  • Joe McHugh September 22, 2014, 12:14 pm

    I would like to hear the view of the parents of the children murdered by the crazy in the Sandy Hook elementary school, on the behavior of Governor Jay Nixon. This is not easy to contemplate but I wonder if any of those parents would have pushed for a voluntary gun carry option regulation before the mass killing if they could see into the future. I know that I would now encourage my school district to do just that if I still had my children in our schools.

    We will never really know what the Principal and her assistant might have prevented if one of them had a handgun when they confronted the crazy breaking through the door that day. If either of them or any of the adults killed that awful day had a firearm that they were appropriately trained with, they would have had a better chance than throwing their hands up in a defensive gesture and pleading for the crazy to stop. As it turned out, the crazy turned his gun on himself when confronted by a person with his own gun. Imagine that, a crazy coward that couldn’t stand the thought of someone hurting him.

    Well, they are all beyond help now and part of the blame rests squarely with the Newtown School Board of Education for making that school a “gun free” shooting gallery for any dangerous psychopath deciding to pay a lethal visit.

    The people like Jay Nixon can feel safe in their delusional anti-gun world, because they are surrounded by armed bodyguards to protect them from the crazies. Jay Nixon is a wrongheaded coward that wouldn’t think of going anywhere without HIS bodyguards.

    • GTL November 25, 2016, 1:32 pm

      Great comment, thank you.

  • Robert September 22, 2014, 12:01 pm

    If we or the schools do not need protection and we all live in such a safe society, I encourage Gov. Nixon to join our safe crowd and drop any personal security he has and let people know where he lives, like they know where our schools are. All these empty headed politicians have dumbed down our society with their numerous lies so long and yet they get elected. I wonder when the American people will wake up and throw the “professionals” out of office and restore true citizen representation again?

  • Bill September 16, 2014, 4:05 pm

    ILL may be the last state but I’ll bet Chicago ain’t handing out many.

  • Art Frailey September 16, 2014, 1:24 am

    If only other state legislators , especially Illinois, were to employ such laws as a smart deterrent to crime and safety.
    I guess Texas and (Tennessee?) are the only other wise ones, having open carry. So sad. It took Illinois several years
    to become the last state to have concealed carry.

    • Joe McHugh September 22, 2014, 12:31 pm

      There is only one reason for carrying handguns openly, namely quick access of the gun. Concealed carry is the better option. One can grab the weapon almost as fast as with the open carry, plus the fact that a concealed handgun does not cause the trepidation that some feel at the mere sight of firearms.

      Then there is the practical aspect of concealed carry when the bad guys are about to do what they do. The person with a holstered firearm in plain sight will be the FIRST person that a killer targets for elimination. Once that person is down he can go about his anti-social business.

      But what are we discussing here? Why are the authorities restricting the Second Amendment rights of competent, law-abiding adult citizens in the first place? We either have the right to bear arms or we don’t. All of the laws in the world won’t stop a criminal from doing what he does, namely break laws.

      • GTL November 25, 2016, 1:37 pm

        Interesting comment, however when criminals/thugs see that there might be a risk of themselves being harmed or killed they will almost always pause for a bit to think about the risk.

      • Darryl September 15, 2017, 3:28 am

        just like the anti-gunners this “open carry person is the first one shot” and as with the anti-gunners worthless statements if what you say is true we would be seeing this happen everyday, we don’t. someone being unhappy if they see a person open carrying, i don’t care if this happens while i’m using my 2nd amendment right. surely after all these years someone shouldn’t be surprised that much to see a person open carry if it’s legal where they live. i’ve carried for 20 years and OCed for over 7 years and NEVER once had a problem. just the opposite i’ve had people ask me about carrying and how to go about doing it. which i tell them the normal steps and read up and learn.

        funny how, like anti-gunners, some people that only CC think their better then ones who OC. maybe not you but there are a lot of them out there as i’ve read this same comment can’t tell you how many times and it’s just not true.

        if it is you must have some stat’s to back it up?

    • Robert W Mizell March 2, 2018, 12:53 pm

      I live in Louisiana, also an open carry state. I agree with comments made by Mr. McHugh below. While I believe in the right to carry as you choose, I prefer to conceal carry. The simple reasons are two. If I’m walking around Wal-Mart with a gun strapped outside my clothes, somebody is going to call 911. Then I and authorities have to have a long discussion about my right to carry openly. Many law officers here don’t realize ours is an open carry state.
      The most important reason though is I don’t want to be the first one shot.

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