University of Missouri

48-109: An Act to Address Campus Safety Concerns Related to HB 668

WHEREAS, the Missouri Students Association remains fully committed to ensuring students have the opportunity to live and learn in a safe environment, and

WHEREAS, MSA Senate remains cognizant of recent shootings on college campuses and vigilant for new measures aimed at improving student safety, and

WHEREAS, on April 8, 2009, the Missouri House passed an amendment to HB 668 to allow individuals to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, and

WHEREAS, University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee has expressed disapproval of the change, citing numerous college campus shootings and additional worries for law enforcement as a result, and

WHEREAS, Chief of MU Police Jack Watring, along with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, opposes concealed carry measures on college campuses due to their negative impact on instances of reckless conduct, homicides, and suicides, and

WHEREAS, the MU Police Department has remained concerned about the increased likelihood of injury to officers and accidental shootings as a result of less well-trained individuals carrying weapons on campus, and

WHEREAS, HB 668 would also decrease the legal age to carry a concealed weapon from twenty-three years of age to twenty-one, vastly increasing the number of individuals who could carry concealed weapons on campuses as proposed in the amendment, and

WHEREAS, ASUM recently conducted a Student Voice survey which included questions concerning concealed carry on campus, with approximately seventy percent of respondents opposed to the measure and eight percent for the measure, and

 

WHEREAS, a study released by the Department of Justice in 2005 indicated that 93 percent of violent crimes in which students are victims occur off-campus, and

WHEREAS, MSA Senate remains concerned by the convergence of firearm possession and alcohol and drug use while on campus, specifically in residence halls, and

 

WHEREAS, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there were more alcohol-related arrests on the MU campus than for any other type of criminal act in both 2007 and 2008 (220 and 181, respectively), as compared to six weapons arrests, and

 

WHEREAS, a study published in the Journal of American College Health in 2002 indicated that students who have firearms on campus are more likely to participate in alcohol, drug, and several other criminal offenses.

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Missouri Students Association strongly opposes House Bill 668 as amended.

 

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Missouri Students Association advocates for lawmakers, University administration, and professional organizations to continue to explore avenues to improve campus safety for all.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Brian Roach                                         Iavora Vlaytcheva                               Phyllis Williams

Student Affairs                                                Student Affairs                                               Budget

 

 

 

Amanda Shelton

MSA Senate Speaker