Last week, the Senate Transportation Committee met to hear SB 782 introduced by Senator Bob Onder, Lake St. Louis. The bill would allow for those individuals with concealed carry permits to carry their weapons on public transit buses, vans, trains as well as onto property owned by the system. Senator Onder filed similar legislation in the 2015 session.
The National Rifle Association, individuals with concealed carry permits and a couple of organizations supporting individual rights to carry concealed weapons testified in support of the bill. A number of transit related organizations testified in opposition to SB 782. These included KCATA, City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri Public Transit Association and Bi-State Development on behalf of Metro. Reasons cited for opposing legislation included the lack of local control to determine what was best for the particular system and passenger safety concerns.
Much of the discussion during the hearing surrounded the interstate compact which Metro operates under and if any bill passed by the Legislature could take precedent over the compact. Senator Onder stated he had not pushed the legislation last session due to the uncertainty of what the compact for Bi-State Development would allow. He stated he is convinced the Legislature can pass a bill which would also apply to Metro in St. Louis. There was no vote taken on the bill but it could be brought up for a vote this week.
If any of these individuals represent the areas you serve please contact them and inform them you are opposed to SB 782.