The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Missouri House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education passed HB 1961, a dangerous bill that would require every Missouri public school to have a teacher, administrator, or volunteer armed with a firearm in every school building during normal school hours – increasing the risk of unintentional shootings and gun violence in schools.
“Only a week after over 450 volunteers came to the capital to advocate for common-sense gun safety laws, our lawmakers are instead taking us backwards and advancing risky bills that would put children, teachers, and school officials in danger,” said Karen Randolph Rogers, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Research has shown again and again that more guns in schools do not make schools safer.”
Research suggests that allowing more firearms on school grounds could be a serious risk to safety. Legislation to allow guns in schools is sold as a way to keep children safe, but in reality, it does just the opposite and puts children at risk of unintentional shootings and escalating conflict without decreasing the risk of an active shooter. Access to a firearm, irrespective of age, triples the risk of death by suicide and doubles the risk of death by homicide.
Teachers could lose their insurance under HB 1961. When several districts in Kansas sought to arm teachers, the insurance companies informed them that they would not insure such a risky practice. Additionally, a 2018 survey of almost 500 U.S. teachers found that 73 percent oppose proposals to arm school staff. Another survey found that 63 percent of parents of elementary, middle, and high school students oppose arming teachers.
This vote comes a week after over 450 Missouri Moms Demand Action volunteers attended their annual advocacy day at the statehouse urging lawmakers to prioritize bills to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
More information about guns in schools here. Statistics about gun violence in Missouri are available here, and information on how Missouri’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.