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Readers: Concealed Guns On Public Transit Is A Bad Idea

April 25, 2012 Featured, Politics/Policy, Public Transit 89 Comments

Nearly two-thirds of readers thought concealed guns on public transit was a bad idea. The original post, Poll: Concealed Weapons Allowed On Public Transit, has great comments on the topic.

The pro-conceraled gun argument goes something like this:

“I rarely ride transit but when I do I’m scared beyond belief about what might happen to me while waiting or en route. If a dark person tries something funny I want to be a hero with my gun.”

Ok, my characterization is a bit unfair but these folks sound like they’re frightened by their own shadow. They might be well trained to use their gun on a paper target in a controlled setting but I’m transit dependent and I can assure you the bus and train are not a shooting range. They cite a drop in crime in areas where concealed  guns are allowed on transit but fail to mention the similar drop in crime in other places where concealed guns aren’t allowed on transit. I’ve yet to see one independent scientific study that says conclusively that concealed guns results in a drop in crime.

The total vote count was higher than usual (160) but the percentages stayed consistent throughout the week so I don’t think any side tried to alter the results with a campaign:

Q: Concealed guns on public transit is:

  1. A bad idea 102 [62.96%]
  2. A good idea 46 [28.4%]
  3. Neither a good or bad idea 10 [6.17%]
  4. Other: 3 [1.85%]
  5. Unsure/No Opinion 1 [0.62%]

The other answers were:

  1. Are you serious? Could we be any more uncivilized?
  2. Already happening.
  3. already happening & will continue no matter what the laws are

Drinking alcohol is legal and people drink & drive, we should make that legal by the logic of these last two. The pro-gun lobby (NRA) seems to think they should be able to carry their guns anywhere and everywhere. In 2008 the US Supreme Court declared Washington D.C.’s gun law unconstitutional but conservative Justice Antonin Scolia wrote in the majority opinion:

There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms. Of course the right was not unlimited, just as the First Amendment ’s right of free speech was not, see, e.g., United States v. Williams, 553 U. S. ___ (2008). Thus, we do not read the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose. Before turning to limitations upon the individual right, however, we must determine whether the prefatory clause of the Second Amendment comports with our interpretation of the operative clause. (District of Columbia v Heller

In other words, keeping a loaded gun in your own home is protected by the constitution. That doesn’t automatically extend to everywhere outside your home. Legislators that responded to my email on this subject tell me the bill to make concealed guns on public transit in Missouri legal won’t make it out of committee…this year.

– Steve Patterson

  • Eric

    Two can play this game:

    “I go into instant panic whenever I see a person with a gun. Because clearly that person must be a KKK member who plans to shoot me as soon as I turn my back. Better keep my eyes on the gun at all times, even when crossing a street with traffic, because obviously guns are the biggest threat to my safety wherever I go.”

    And for the record: One of the arguments used in the Dred Scott case for why blacks couldn’t be US citizens was that if they were citizens, they would be allowed (I quote literally) “to keep and carry arms wherever they went”. Wherever they went – not just in their private homes like you say. It was understood by all that the Constitution allowed that to citizens. In order to deny this right to blacks, they had to prevent blacks from being citizens at all.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      Tthose of us who actually ride transit don’t want to become part of the NRA’s game to be able to carry everywhere. Those who want to carry argue they are afraid and need a gun to protect themselves and others from the bad guys. Us others are saying thanks but no thanks.

      • Eric

        If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get one. If you don’t like guns, then don’t carry one. In either case, if you want to force your decision on other people, apparently it is *you* who has paranoia about the other side somehow hurting you.

        • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

          Exceptionally poor analogy! The current policy works for both the users and those who manage the transit system, it’s gun owners seeking a change in policy based on their stated fear to be in society without a gun.

          • JZ71

            A better analogy might be texting and driving – those who do think they can do so under any circumstance, while those who don’t see a great risk in doing so.  The current policy only “works” because no one has apparently ever been challenged about carrying on Metro vehicle or property, or if they were, their violent act trumped any Metro prohibition.

            BTW – what penalty is currently attached to carrying a firearm onto Metro property?  Getting 86’ed?  Detained and arrested?  Fined?  And, by whom?  Most Metro security officers are not sworn police officers and would not want to actually confront an armed violator, especially someone who intentionally carries a weapon onto Metro property.

        • Msrdls

          Eric: Gay marriage and CCW are hardly parallel discussion topics. Gay marriage doesn’t impact me. The possibility that someone across the isle is going to shoot me or the person sitting next to me does impact me. And the possibility that I’m going to be sitting in the middle of a western shootout frightens me.

          • Eric

            Gay marriage represents a significant change in overall societal attitudes towards religion, family and so on. Such changes do matter a great deal to many people. Has a bystander *ever* been hurt in a Western shootout on public transportation?

          • JZ71
          • Brian Wittling

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B… – shot by police
            http://www.wmata.com/about_met…  – shot “near a bus stop”
            http://www.atulocal689.org/ATU…  – hit by a stray bullet near a bus stop
            http://kstp.com/news/stories/S…  – dead link
            http://frontburner.dmagazine.c…  – shot by police at a bus stop

            Your examples are far from anything but a “western style shootout” and hardly support any notion that a rider should be somehow in mortal fear for their life by a CCW holder on transit.

          • JZ71

            Yet that’s exactly why gun rights advocates are arguing that they need to carry their weapons when they ride . . . .

          • Brian Wittling

            And yet you still fail to understand why someone might feel the need to have one while going to and from a transit stop or through their whole course of travel. 

          • JZ71

            You’re missing my point.  Eric asked if “Has a bystander *ever* been hurt in a Western shootout on public transportation?  My answer was yes, absolutely.

          • Guns Rights

            JZ71 and others you act as if these shootings were done by those individuals whom are licensed and trained to carry a concealed weapon.  Those who are licensed to carry a gun legally are the ones that are trying to be able to carry on Metro while still abiding by the law.  The nigger gangsters and thugs who “hit people with stray bullets” and open fire on random people are still going to carry weapons where ever they please regardless of the laws….reasearch the number of crimes commited with a gun by a licensed to carry person vs crimes commited by someone unlicensed…the facts speak loudly!

          • JZ71

            Read what I said further down, about the four types of riders.  I believe that Metro erred in creating an essentially unenforceable prohibition, but I believe that this is an issue that should be addressed locally, not by the state legislature.  However, IF you (and many others) believe that CCW holders are capable of (not) using their weapons in EVERY possible situation, then there should be no exceptions – licensed weapons should be allowed in court rooms, jails, bars, workplaces, churches, schools and on airliners and public transit.  But once the legislature starts to identify situations where concealed weapons are not allowed, you create a dynamic where there will never be complete agreement.

            Personally, I believe that there are far too many wepons in the hands of the general public, but I have few concerns about most CCW holders acting responsibly.  The “problem” is that there is no 100% perfect human being, and given the right situation, “mistakes” / “bad choices” can be and are made.  What happened in Florida is a microcosm of what could happen on transit.  Did the concealed weapon make the neighborhood watch guy braver?  Did it contribute to whatever confrontation occured?  What if a white guy (or gal) ends up on the second car on a Metrolink train and starts to feel uncomfortable at 10:30 (am or pm) on a weekday?  What if it’s because there’s a group of non-smiling, African-American males staring at him or her?  What if it’s between stops and someone starts to feel trapped?  If no weapons are displayed, we’re all better off.  The current prohibition is not perfect, but it helps.  And yes, it certainly places the law-abiding CCW holder in an awkward position.  But if push comes to shove, literally, and a weapon(s) is displayed or used, violating the “no firearms” prohibition will be the least of anyone’s worries.

          • Msrdls

            On the issue of gay marriage, Eric, I think the controversy is much to do about nothing. Today’s straight generation of those in charge may have an issue with gay marriage, but our next generation will not, I’m fairly certain. Today’s teens typically don’t give a second thought to who does what in the bedroom and with whom.  It’s slowly becoming a non-issue, as it should be.

          • Eric

             A generation ago it was also a non-issue, but in a different way…

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      The vast majority of those who actually use public transit like the current policy of not allowing concealed weapons. It’s the pro-gun lobby coming in from out state saying they fear using transit in the big cities (STL & KC) without their guns. I like local transit agencies being able to set the policy for their own systems rather than politicians in Jefferson City making that decision for them.

      • aaronlevi

         can you cite your source on the assertion that “The vast majority of those who actually use public transit like the current policy of not allowing concealed weapons”?

        I ride the chippewa bus daily through the winter, and bike down arsenal through the spring/summer/fall. i’ve frequently thought about purchasing a gun and getting my CCW thanks to encounters i’ve had walking home from the bus stop late in the evening, as well as the random violence toward cyclists that has taken place in the tower grove east area.

        • SqueakyRat

          Well, take a look at the poll cited in the post.

          • Eric

             Who says the people who read this blog are representative of all who use public transportation?

  • Msrdls

    Over the past month alone in the national news, innocent and questionably-innocent individuals have been shot by gun-toting cowboys who probably had no really good reason to have a gun strapped to their hips. We are all reading about these incidents every day in the news, and tomorrow I fear will be no different.  And these events have convinced me that, as much as possible,  I just don’t want to expose myself and my family to the possibility of sitting down in a public venue next to some idiot with an ax to grind against someone with blue eyes…or green eyes….or brown eyes. For that reason, I don’t personally use public transportation unless absolutely necessary. I don’t allow my boys to use it ever, and my wife would rather walk than sit on a public bus or train.  This is not necessarily a black or white issue, but frankly I admit that often it is, based on the race climate in STL. We live today in a time of danger and uncertainty, of alienation and dehumanization. It’s ironic that this condition has not invited more creativity and careful human thought than at any other time of history, opportunities for those capable of initiating new ideas and bold projects to effect change, those who will blend vision, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals of humanity.  But it isn’t happening.  Four years ago , I thought President Obama would be capable of effecting this type of change, but he has proven himself to be a miserable failure in this regard. If anything, he is widening the gap. 

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      You blame the president for not reducing the gap but you won’t allow your kids to use public transit. Don’t blame Obama for the gap, go take a good hard look in the mirror!

      • Msrdls

        If you had kids, you’d probably better understand, maybe not. No crusade is worthy of compromising the safety and security of my kids. None.

        • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

          I hang out with friends that have kids, as good patents they are giving them many experiences in life, including riding public transit from the time they were in diapers. They’ll be well adjusted young adults, your kids not so much.

          • Msrdls

            I am confident that your friends are doing the best they can to raise their kids. I am doing the same. It’s possible that I’m going about it differently.  I have made decisions to raise my sons in a secure neighborhood that offers them a safe environment to eat, sleep and call “home”.There’s no gun fire in the neighborhood.   I send them to an excellent college-prep high school that offers them 4 years of math and English, Physics/Chemistry, etc, Social Studies, Latin and other foreign languages, and opportunities to  engage in just about any sport imaginable and clubs to meet even the most esoteric taste. And I would never do anything that would place my boys in an environment that would compromise their safety and well being,  as a social experiment or especially as a gesture of inclusiveness.  They are well-adjusted boys with their sights set on college and graduate school, who don’t engage in drug use or have any interest in doing so, and who measure their personal success by the degree to which they have made and are making good use of their God-given talents and endowments. I don’t really think I can improve their level of adjustment by handing them $2 so they can ride to school on the bus, sitting next to some idiot who just may not like the color of their Latin II textbooks! Having friends with kids is well and good. It’s nothing like having your own and knowing in your heart that if you have the means to protect them, you’re gonna do it as long as you can.

          • Hunter 24/7

            sound like a bunch of pussies who live in a padded bubble! good lord get out and live a little don’t get your panties so ruffled old man!

    • Moe

      I disagree Ms.  While I think your beginning thoughts are right on target, you loose me at Obama.  If anything, Obama’s assendency has bought out buried feelings of hatred, insecurity, and yes, even jealousy in those already sub-consciously or not, afraid of the future…of what might be. (Why else would the elected…key word being elected…officials be determined to make him a 1 term President at any cost.  And the cost is our Country). When you have non-news media (Fox) and gasbags such as Rush and the like spewing hatred to those listeners that for whatever reason do not want to put the effort into analysing and actually thinking through events.  They would rather listen to what supports thier comfort zone. 

      • Msrdls

        Moe: I really don’t think we’re saying two different things!!

        • SqueakyRat

          I think Moe is suggesting you’re one of the ones whose hates and fears have been exposed by the election of a black man to the Presidency.

          • Msrdls

            Any reluctance to steer the course safely should not be interpreted as any form of hate. And I subscribe to the adage that it is better to be safe than sorry. “Sorry”, in STL, is permanent, indelible.  “Sorry” leaves you looking back without recourse. “Sorry” makes me a liberal fool. I’m  no fool, and I’m certainly not liberal.  When President Obama ran for office, I didn’t see him as a black man. I saw him as a man with a vision. As it’s turned out, he is a man with a great gift of gab. 

  • JZ71

    One, I don’t think weapons have a place on public transit.  Two, Metro isn’t very effective in enforcing any of it’s rules (no eating, no drinking, no loud music) so I don’t see how they can be or are very effective in enforcing their current ban on firearms.  Three, a weapon kept concealed is not a problem; a weapon displayed and/or used IS a problem, likely a huge problem, on public transit.  Four, this is essentially a solution in search of a problem – until Metro installs metal detectors and searches everyone like the TSA does at Lambert, there will always be people “packing” on public transit (you just don’t want to find out who!).

    Bigger picture, as has played out in Florida, the conceal-carry component is/was a minor issue, the stand-your-ground component is the MAJOR issue.  And since Missouri has (as I understand it) a similar stand-your-ground law, any confrontation on public transit has the potential to escalate to a deadly level, with or without concealed weapons.  In today’s society, whether it’s a Glock, pepper spray, a switch blade, a Taser or martial arts training, it does tend to make some people more confident, arrogant and/or confrontational, and putting two or more of these together can be a recipie for disaster.

    Finally, a point of clarification – yes, you can’t legally “drink & drive” – open container laws prohibit that.  But you can still drink and then drive IF you test below the 0.08 threshold if you’re ever pulled over.  So, by that measure. it’s “already happening & will continue no matter what the laws are”.  The difference is that our drunk driving laws accept that a “little bit impaired” is OK while Metro’s rules are an absolute “no”.  The similarity is that both laws/rules rely on highly selective and sparodic enforcement, and the majority of the people hit with enforcement actions are the blatant ones – can’t stay in their lane, hit things, are beligerent, etc. – they get what they deserve(d).

    Bottom line, I’m in the “already happening & will continue no matter what the laws are” camp.  It won’t matter if concealed weapons are allowed or prohibited, people who want to bring their nickle-plated security blanket with them will continue to do so and people who don’t, won’t.  We already have multiple laws dealing with the improper use of weapons (assault, brandishing, murder, robbery, intimidation, armed criminal action, etc, etc.) and they’re a much more effective deterent against crime and bodily harm than any blanket prohibition or permission on specific weapons ever will be.

    • Eric

       Agreed, the stand-your-ground law is the big issue.

  • RyleyinSTL

    I don’t understand how more guns are going to increase the safety of riders.  It seems to me that more guns increases the chances of getting shot.

    I can picture it….a nervous soccer mom is riding the train with her 3 kids and pulls her out .45 because some young punk is making her nervous on the way back from a Blues game. She manages to kill the punk but also manages to kill 12 other people in the process (including one of her own children) due to a crowed train and her inexperience with firearms.

    This preoccupation that Americans have with the need to shoot everything and everyone at all times is tiresome and barbaric. The US has a higher per capita gun death rate than just about any other western democracy….I don’t think you’re doing it right. 

    • Brian Wittling

      Your imagination only shows how little you really know about the issue.

      • Horatius

        So, will you bless us with your monumental wisdom or just masturbate alone on the side?

        • Msrdls

          Horatius: My wife who is a psychiatrist just read your comment. She laughted. It speaks volumes about your fears and desires. Explore a bit in the psychology and self-help isle of the local library. You may come to grips with something about yourself that you’re well aware of but too frightened to own up to. Cor ad cor loquitor, Horatius.

          • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

            The wife that “would rather walk than sit on a public bus or train”?

          • Msrdls

            You got it!

          • Branwell1

            She “laughted”? Do you really think that it’s possible for someone to know “volumes” about a stranger on a blog based on a single comment he writes there? I don’t know any legit shrinks who would agree with that.  

            Maybe the voluminous “self-help isle” is largely a phenomenon of fairly recent American coinage for those seeking to elevate mundane problems to some vaguely medical level of importance. It seems to reflect a preening, narcissistic industry that presumes to hand out “expert” diagnoses as casually as self-help book contracts. Your patronizing reply to Horatius is consistent with that and perhaps “speaks volumes” about you. Maybe your wife can tell us. Pompously tacking on Latin does not make you more authoritative.   

    • Msrdls

      RyleyinSTL: You hit the nail where it needs to be hit. When the day comes that everyone on board has a gun, or potentially could have a gun, I won’t want to even be driving by in a car!

  • Shabadoo

     reactionary white people, the only people who like conceal carry laws, don’t take public transit.  the guns on metro will be illegal firearms, no matter what the rule is.

    • Brian Wittling

      What is your source for this broad characterization? Please provide a link.

      • Shabadoo

        i don’t base my life on links to things, sorry.

        • Brian Wittling

          so in other words this is only your own racist opinion and cannot back it up with any facts.

          • Shabadoo

            if you want to do a study feel free, i am confident that my assertion is correct

          • Brian Wittling

            Tell that to the Black Panthers.

          • shabadoo

            ill just get in my time machine and go back to the 60’s when the black panthers were relevent and give them your messge you fucking honky

          • Msrdls

            You may have learned something about yourself today, Shabadoo. You have a breaking point, and it doesn’t take much to get there. I wonder if you might react similarly if you had a gun tucked away in your waistband?  ….just askin’.

    • aaronlevi

       i agree with Brian, if you’re going to make a such a broad statement, you should be prepared to back it up.

      anecdotally speaking, most of my anarchist/socialist/communist friends are major proponents of gun ownership, CCW, and self policing. and yes, they also are proponents for publicly subsidized mass transit.

    • backprop

       I like conceal carry, and I take public transit daily.

  • Brian Wittling

    I support the RKBA and the CCW laws of the state of Missouri which state that a CCW holder can carry in many places public and private that transit serves. Though I have seen and indirectly been affected by violent criminal acts on and near transit in StL, I choose not to carry a concealed weapon – on transit or anywhere, so Metro’s anti-CCW rules do not really effect me personally.

    What concerns me more than a CCW restriction on transit, is the fact that Metro does not allow firearms *by any means* on transit, even those properly locked and secured in a case for travel. I.E. if I were travelling to a marksmanship competition and flying out of Lambert with my rifle cased and locked for checked baggage, I cannot take transit to the airport! Somehow a firearm in a locked case with no ammunition is fine for the TSA Stormtroopers, but not for Metro?

    Nor could I travel via transit to a served busniess location to buy, sell or have serviced one of my legally-owned firearms; nor use transit to go to the firing range to practice.

    Metro is a public service and uses public funds (my tax dollars) to operate. Therefore I should be able to legally carry a firearm on transit by any means that I would otherwise be able to legally carry it. If I can carry an unloaded, locked and secured weapon to a store or range in my car, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle or by walking then I should be able to do so on transit as well. 

    An analogy could be made to the conflict between the Federal government and various states who tried to ban motorcycles from HOV lanes on Interstate highways. Cases were brought and supported by the AMA (the Motorcycling rights organization somewhat analagous to the NRA but without all the batshit crazy conservative rhetoric), and finally the Feds came down on the offending states saying that they could ban motorcycles from their HOV lanes, but if they did so they could not accept federal funds for the highway. 
    I say the same should apply here – if Metro wants to ban any and all firearms from their system, fine, but they should then cease to collect any public money to support their system.

    I find it bewildering and amusing that so many readers think that if any kind of CCW weapong were now *legally* allowed on transit that there would somehow be 1) more than there are already and 2) transit would suddenly erupt into Hollywood old-west shootouts. If you are that afraid of society, please do us all a favor and just stay at home!

    The issue is not safety *on* transit nessesarily, but it is certainly about one’s safety to and from transit and where ever else you are going in your journey. A conceal carry weapon certainly does not magically make you safe from violent criminals, but it can certainly stop a violent crime in its tracks and this plays out across America every single day.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      I agree we wouldn’t see wild west shootouts but I do think we’d have more guns unless you think those carrying illegal guns on transit will suddenly stop doing so.

    • JZ71

      Your premise is a solution in search of a problem.  Denver went throught the same thing when they instituted a ban on assault weapons within their city limits.  Gun owners who lived outside Denver were raising the prospect of being randomly pulled over and having their weapons and vehicles seized by the Denver Police Department.  Guess what?  It never happened.  The only ones losing their vehicles and weapons were the Crips and the Bloods and other violent gang bangers.  Police have discretion and they use it, every day!

      The same pretty much applies here.  Metro says you can’t have a gun.  If they don’t see it, what would cause them to “inspect” you?  To detain you?  To arrest you?  To fine you?  They say you can’t eat or drink.  That is rarely enforced, either, especially if it’s a cup of coffee with a lid.  Why would looking for firearms be a higher priority, especially concealed ones?!

      You say you choose not to carry, yet you’re arguing that your rights are being infringed.  We can all invent scenarios where our “rights” could potentially be infringed, and we can all identify situations where we actually believe our rights have been limited (recreational drug use, for one, abortion, for another), where the good of the larger society (apparently?) outweighs those of the individual.  It’s called living in a civilized society.

      I get it, rights can and are diminished if they’re not exercised.  The vast majority of CCW holders can (and probably do regularily) carry their weapons onto Metro trains and buses, albeit not “legally”, yet have no problems because they NEVER DISPLAY THEM!  This prohibition is aimed at the idiots, the gangbangers and the cowboys.  Carrying drugs on Metro is illegal.  Carrying counterfeit money is illegal.  Carrying an open container of alcohol is illegal.  Being drunk in public is illegal.  Raging BO should be illegal, but it isn’t.  Soliciting signatures for petitions is against the rules.  Guess what?  Most people “get away with it” every day because they’re “cool” about it – don’t bring attention to yourself and it won’t be an issue.  But if you really want an issue to push, why can’t CCW holders take their weapons into a bar or a stadium?  They’re much more likely to get into a conflict there than they are on public transit . . . .

      • Shabadoo

        very true, in st. louis (city) you can pretty much do what ever you want, if you are not hurting someone you get a pass

      • Brian Wittling


        You say you choose not to carry, yet you’re arguing that your rights are being infringed. ”

        I’ve never attended a protest, nor have I ever been a journalist, so I shouldn’t be concerned about infringements on peaceable gatherings or free speech and the freedom of the press either, right? Nor should I be concerned about unreasonable search & seizure even though I’ve never been arrested?

        I may not excersize certain rights, but they are the rights protected of all Americans and an infringement of any of them in an infringement on us all. Or do we need to review the Patriot Act here to remind you of that?

        “But if you really want an issue to push, why can’t CCW holders take their weapons into a bar or a stadium?  They’re much more likely to get into a conflict there than they are on public transit . . . .”

        I hardly think so.. stadiums and bars are busy, crowded public places, usually with security in some form or another.. Transit stops and the streets and paths to and from them are not, and are often but not always in high-crime areas.

        • JZ71

          One, both bars and transit and its stops are found in both rich and poor, violent and non-violent, “good” and “bad” parts of town.  You assert that stadia and bars are “are busy, crowded public places, usually with security in some form or another”.  The same can be said about Metrolink, especially during rush hour and when it’s serving sporting events.  Similarily, as the event last week, where a regular at a south city bar was abducted and raped, illustrates, crime can and does happen far away from transit.

          Two, you’re arguing that the second amendment grants anyone the right have a gun anywhere.  I disgree.  I believe that the second amendment is pretty clear:  “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  Unless an individual is a part of the “well regulated militia”, it would appear that there is no right “to keep and bear arms”, certainly not the right to wander around with no oversight, only the rights the government grants through regulations and licensure.  Then, of course, the criminal element doesn’t follow the law anyway, so why would they care what the laws say?

          Three, the current state law on conceal carry* is a bit confusing and creates a grey area when it comes to public transit.  On page 4, it states that any entity, including Metro, can prohibit weapons “on private or public property”, which Metro apparently chooses to do.  On page 5, it then states that “Missouri now permits any person who is at least 21 years old to transport a concealable firearm in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle. No concealed carry endorsement is required.”  The proposed law may actually be redundant when it comes to public transit.

          Finally, I find it highly ironic that the loudest voice for gun-owners rights, the NRA, chose to hold its national convention in America’s Center, a facility that prohibits concealed weapons.  If the NRA really wanted to make a statement about their presumed “rights”, they would’ve gone somewhere more friendly to gun owners.

          *http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/Publications/Brochures/documents/SHP-863.pdf

          • Brian Wittling

            Sure, during rush hour an other high-volume events.. but what about the rest of the time? Violent crime can occur any time and anywhere, near or far from transit, so why are we pretending that a concerned individual who has the right to otherwise posses a CCW should not feel the need to do so going to, while on, or coming from transit?

            As to your second point, I believe you’ll find that Constitutionally, the militia is “any male between the ages of 18 and 45″ and during actual times or war and invasion includes pretty much anyone capable of holding a weapon. I make no arguments that there should be total non-restrictions or no oversights at all, As I have said before I am in favor of reasonable measures of gun control.

            Your third point seems clear to me (castle doctrine extends to a persons car), but also speaks to my argument that Metro unreasonably restricts the free travel of citizens carrying non-concealed, secured weapons for legal transport. I find it more telling that no one has yet attempted to contradict my arguments in this particular matter. 

            Finally, the NRA can kiss my white pimply ass. They are the Westboro Baptist Church of 2A Rights advocacy. But I digress.. 
            it’s actually the 100% rule that at any gun show – no matter who’s hosting – has a zero tolerance policy of carrying a loaded weapon within. All weapons are checked and safety tied prior to entering, usually by uniformed police officers. All firearms on display are also similarly disabled with safety ties. I suppose someone could still sneak one in just like on transit, but that person would risk the ire and ostracization of everyone in the firearm enthusiast community, if not also legal complications.

          • JZ71

            It sounds like there are four parties to our Metro discussions.  One, riders who don’t carry guns and don’t want to get hassled or shot while using public transit.  Two, riders who carry both a gun and a CCW permit and don’t want to get hassled or shot while using public transit.  Three, riders who carry a gun but don’t have a CCW permit and don’t want to get hassled or shot while using public transit.  And four, idiots, cowboys, sociopaths and common criminals who may actually commit a violent crime while using public transit.

            Metro’s “No Guns” prohibition is aimed primarily at the last group and doesn’t really affect the first group, leaving the two middle groups with “their rights” being “restricted” by an arbitrary policy approved by Metro’s Board.  I have little sympathy for the third group (unlicensed CCW), but I understand the frustrations felt by some members of the second group.  The question is how to balance the fears (real and imagined) and “rights” of “good”, law-abiding gun owners with the fears (real and imagined) and the rights against illegal search and seizure (aka probable cause) of most riders who simply don’t want to get hassled or shot while using public transit.

            I’ll repeat, while I don’t think that guns have a place on transit, I also believe that Metro has no viable way of enforcing any sort of weapons ban, especially if the weapon(s) remain concealed for the duration of the trip.  “Changing the law” will have little real impact, other than making many CCW holders more “legal”.  It won’t impact either the non-carriers nor will it impact the non-holders (for whatever reason) of CCW permits, and it sure as hell won’t impact anyone who chooses to perform a violent act or a robbery on a Metro vehicle or on Metro property.  This is only an issue because some rural legislator has an irrational fear of urban areas and their inhabitants.

            The current CCW law already has multiple exceptions, so it’s likely that every CCW holder has made their share of technical violations already, with absolutely no negative consequences.  The biggest problem area seems to be at the airport, where too many passengers “forget” that they’re (always?) carrying.  Until someone can come up with some statistics that show that CCW holders have actually been denied access to Metro, or were injured because they didn’t have their gun with them on Metro, I’m inclined to classify this as a highly rhetorical discussion, and one that will never be solved to everyone’s complete satisfaction.

          • Eric

            “And four, idiots, cowboys, sociopaths and common criminals who may actually commit a violent crime while using public transit.

            Metro’s “No Guns” prohibition is aimed primarily at the last group and doesn’t really affect the first group,”

            Illegally owned guns are prohibited everywhere, not just on Metro. So how can an additional Metro regulation be directed at them?

            And you basically advice CCW owners to break the rule and hope not to get caught. What type of advice is that, for them or for society?

          • JZ71

            One, I don’t like out-state legislators trying to “solve” urban “problems” for us.  Two, enacting laws or creating rules that can not, are not and will not be enforced is a waste of time and paper.  The current rule is essentialy unenforceable when it comes to concealed weapons, of any type.  Many people carry backpacks, fanny packs, briefcases and bags onto Metro property every day.  It’s going to take a really special, low-paid, unarmed security guard to either challenge someone whom they believe may be armed to display their weapon or to initiate an involuntary search without first getting a search warrant.  Bottom line, I think Metro made a mistake in creating their current prohibition (only honest, law-abdiding people will follow it, criminals sure as hell won’t), but this needs to be changed by the Metro board, not by some mandate from the state legislature, especially when they refuse to provide Metro with any significant funding!

    • Msrdls

      Brian: The solution is not to stay home. The solution is to find alternative transportation. I have willingly done that. I willingly have chosen to avoid public transportation because of the POTENTIAL(which currently exists)  for crime, which in my opinion will become more POTENTIALLY dangerous if eveyone is allowed to carry a gun. It’s simple.  I won’t fight CCW on public transportation, because I won’t care with happens, because I already don’t use it. Those who use it can deal with the issues.

  • sad4society

    To be quite frank, I’ve heard Metro operators admonish riders that taking a picture on the train is illegal more than eating or drinking!  And that’s not even posted anywhere. 

    Unfortunately, just because weapons are illegal won’t stop anyone from carrying.  It’s the “using” part that is frightening.  How would that have stopped any of the past shootings that were aimed at passengers just on the platform from passing vehicles?

  • http://profiles.google.com/philboid Philboid Studge

    People who carry firearms are cowards.  Grow a pair, Mary!

  • hugerat

    What kind of a pathetic loser is so scared by simply performing mundane daily tasks, like getting on a bus, that he feels the need to be armed at all times anyway?

    • Brian Wittling

      Perhaps the same ones who cast disparaging generalizations from behind internet pseudonyms maybe? 

    • backprop

      People who want to carry don’t necessarily want to carry ON transit, or even “at all times.”  But if I half to walk a mile to a bus or metro stop through an area where I want to be armed, I can’t well ditch the firearm before boarding transit and pick it up later.

      • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

        “walk a mile”? Oh give me a break.

        • backprop

          I beg your pardon?  I walk a mile to my transit stop.

          • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

            Sorry, I don’t believe you. If you live near transit the bus should stop much closer. I call BS.

          • backprop

            You must lead a really charmed life to think that everyone in the Metro area is “much” closer to a bus stop by foot.

            I just did Google transit and you’re right, it’s only 0.8 miles.  But it’s not “much” closer than one mile.

            But the point is valid whether it’s five blocks or five miles.  People – including me –  may have no reason or desire to carry “on transit” (I’ve only had a few issues on transit personally).  But putting arbitrary restrictions on transit simply serves to drive people away from it. 

            It’s like saying, carrying is illegal on Delmar Blvd.  Who cares, right?  Why do you need to carry a gun to the Loop?  But that precludes anyone who carries from driving on or across Delmar.  One might not have the desire to carry while ON Delmar, but the restriction ripples down through many other situations.

          • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

            I realize not everyone lives as close to transit as I do but I also know the maximum distance people are generally willing to walk is a 1/4 mile. You’re well beyond that. It’s unreasonable to permit concealed guns for those few times you’re going to walk 8/10th of a mile to transit. And is that the nearest bus stop or the nearest MetroLink station?

          • backprop

            Steve, that’s from my home.  I’m fortunate enough that it’s not a big deal to walk that far (it’s a 15-18 minute walk). I usually walk an additional 1/3 mile on the other end as well.  The distance is to the nearest bus stop.  You may live in the city where it’s well-served by nearby buses, but you can find places in Walnut Park for example that are over 1/2 mile to a bus stop. Here are some examples of places in St. Louis where a near-mile walk to a bus stop is common: Kinloch, Spanish Lake, Dellwood, Berkeley, Northwoods… in other words, it’s not a one-off situation.  Trust me, I’ve been doing it for years.

          • shabadoo

            those places are not in st. louis.  suburbs were built for cars, no suprise, if you wanna use transit move to the city 

          • backprop

            Thanks for the deep insight.  I suppose “suburbs” like Walnut Park and Kinloch won’t be contributing to transit funding either?

          • Branwell1

            Walnut Park is not a suburb.

          • backprop

            I know.  I was being facetious.   Hence the quotes.

          • Branwell1

            I thought that at first, but you also mentioned Kinloch, which is a suburb. Anyway, no big deal. 

  • Henk_sg

    I don’t know about mass transit, but I am seriously considering getting a conceal in carry permit because of the violent rhetoric from the right. 

  • moe

    I was going to read all the above posts, but in reality I got tired of it.  No one is going to convince the other side.  It’s just plain silly.

    But for what it’s worth Steve, I agree with you….it is a far different thing for police who have had multiple courses on situation handling AND actual experience firing a weapon than it is for Joe Citizen to lock and load.  Even the most skilled hunter fails at this because guess what…a deer (which you don’t need a semi to take down) doesn’t duck behind another deer, a person will.

    And to all the gun-proponents….if more guns = more safety is truely the answer, then please answer me this:  Why is it that in both north St. Louis City and north St. Louis County, where many citizens are armed and we hear about the shootings daily….why is it then that there is more shootings per person?
    Many of those people being shot at ARE armed, yet they are still shot and have no time to shoot back, there are many innocent people hurt in the process (not to include property damage) and the list goes on.  So why is it then that if more guns = more safety….why is it that those areas are the most unsafest when they should be the safest.

    • Brian Wittling

      criminal on criminal behaviour is in no way analogous to a law abiding citizen defending themselves from a violent criminal. You and the other anti-carry responders to this thread still fail to demonstrate what reasonable fear you should have from a legal, law abiding CCW holder.

      • RyleyinSTL

        Allowing CC on board transit would increase the number of people on transit with a firearm.  This increases the possibility of gun violence. More guns, more gun deaths.  More cars, more traffic accidents.  More rain, more flooding.  You get the picture.

        Just because a person has a legal concealed weapon doesn’t mean they are any less likely to use it.  After all, if you carry a gun, you plan to use it….if not, why carry it.

        Every man, woman and child doesn’t need to be packing heat just in case the Government starts coming for you.  It’s not 1776 anymore.  The British have been defeated.  You have your democracy (or your version of it).  No one is coming for you.  Time to calm down now.  I can insure you that being able to shoot each other as conveniently as possible is not going to solve your problems. 

        • Brianwittling

          and if it was illegally carried they would be less likely to use it? You logic is self-serving. If my grandmother had wheels shed be a wagon.

          it is my opinion that anyone who carries a weapon more often hops to NEVER use it, be they a citizen, security guard, soldier or police.

          But you are coreect in one regard, anyone who believes that societies problems can be reduced to something which can be shot at has deeper issues than RKBA 2A  concerns.

  • moe

    Thank you Ryley.

  • moe

    …my comment was not concerning criminal on criminal behavior…it was on people (whether criminals or not …and calling them criminals when you don’t know what they are doing is rather prejudicial…..but people firing at ARMED people, intentional or not, and these ARMED people still do not have enough reaction time to fire back and HIT THE TARGET.   The people are there, irregardless of criminal activity, the guns are there…..so if more guns = more safety, but that logic, the criminals, as you call them ( I will call them people since as of yet they have not done a crime) should be afraid to fire at those other criminals (people) for fear of being fired back at.  Yet that does not happen.
     

  • GMichaud

     I have some observations. I’m not sure how many commenters here have been in combat and war. (Any Iraq, Afgan, Vietnam vets?) In any case, more weaponry does not solve anything. It only points to underlying problems that need to be solved. I don’t mean crime, I mean employment, paths to a decent world, a coherent city and quality of life that supports everyone, wealthy and poor. The real question to answer is why America leads the world in people in prison, surpassing even totalitarian regimes?

    When there is an effort to tackle the tough problems of America, then there will be real answers, until then, carrying guns on transit is yet another diversion swallowing the public’s attention into Dante’s Inferno.
    (note: don’t depend on the current political system to confront real problems, it has become so bankrupt on both the national and state level it has become almost useless)

    • Brian Wittling

      Absolutely, 100% age sir! thank you. I said it myself in the original blog post that people on both sides of the RKBA arguement use this as a wedge issue and easy target bucause its much easier than actually addressing the lager social issues which lead to violent crime in the first place.

  • Arlene M. Alberto

    I agree that it is better to have guns with how people act nowadays. Like the man who ate a homeless guy, if someone tries to eat your face then I would like to have a gun so that I can shoot his face first.

    Arlene M. Alberto
    LI Veterinary Surgery Specialist

  • http://twitter.com/HistorianInMe Kayla Sonergoran

    Considering what happened to Trayvon Martin, I think its just an invitation for unwarranted violence by someone who lets stereotypes or their racism lead their actions and ability to think. I am just as scared of a person who carries a gun legally as I am of someone who does so illegally. In my eyes, they are one in the same. Both have the potential to hurt me for no reason.

    Besides, if someone is that afraid of public transportation that they feel they must carry a gun, then they seriously shouldn’t be riding it. The only people insane enough to support this legislation are people that are dumb enough to believe violence is common transit or has never actually used transit before.

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