Object lessons on the dangers of guns around children apparently failed to sway the Missouri General Assembly, which this week overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s gun bill veto.
The new law lets people with concealed carry permits display those weapons openly and lowers the age for obtaining a concealed carry permit from 21 to 19. In addition, it lets school districts designate educators and others to be armed “protection officers.”
This occurs as a sixth-grade teacher carrying a concealed firearm at Westbrook Elementary School in Taylorsville, Utah, was struck by bullet and porcelain toilet fragments when her gun accidentally went off in a faculty restroom. The bullet caused the toilet to explode.
Authorities reported that Michelle Ferguson-Montgomery had a concealed firearms permit to legally carry the weapon, which Utah allows in public schools. This is the second reported incident of a concealed weapon discharging in a school.
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Earlier this month a concealed handgun fired at the Physical Science Complex at Idaho State University, shooting the instructor with the gun in the foot. Idaho in the last legislative session passed a measure that allows concealed carry on campuses in the state as long as the person has obtained an enhanced permit, the Idaho State Journal reports. The law went into effect July 1.
Such laws were in response to gun lobby groups like the National Rifle Association convincing lawmakers that having more guns in schools and on college campus would be a deterrent against mass shootings. It is a foolish, callous and danger notion.
The Republican-controlled Missouri legislature now makes it possible for similar accidents with guns to happen in schools.