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Do Guns Belong on Public Transportation?

Lawmakers in Missouri are considering a bill that would allow guns on public transportation.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that legislation is pending that would prohibit such cities as St. Louis and Kansas City from using local ordinances to ban guns on trains and buses.

Supporters of the bill say it would make riders safer, arguing that no one would try to commit a crime if they know other riders might be armed.

Critics feel the opposite; they say people will stop riding mass transit if guns are allowed because they won't feel safe with the weapons around.

The bill's sponsor said he proposed the legislation after gun owners contacted him.

“They feel it’s very incumbent upon their safety and their Second Amendment rights,” said Rep. Ed Schieffer, a Democrat. “I know this an emotional issue for people. This is about making people feel safer about riding."

But crime really doesn't seem to be an issue on public transportation in Missouri. St. Louis Metro officials, for example, say there were just 16 assaults and three robberies in 2010, and that the system won the Transportation Security Administration’s “Gold Standard” for its commitment to security and passenger safety this year.


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