Amid ongoing efforts by local officials to improve MetroLink policing, three Missouri state legislators are trying to attack crime on light rail from a different angle.
weapons to protect themselves. The move is strongly opposed by Metro Transit officials, who would actually increase the risk to riders and police.
The law would apply to buses and other public transportation across the state with the exception of Amtrak.
State reps. Ron Hicks and Adam Schnelting and state Sen. Bob Onder, all from St. Charles County, has been introduced to the end of the year of this year's legislative session.
"I used to go from the airport to downtown" and to sports attractions downtown, Hicks said of MetroLink. "I did not feel safe and secure myself."
Schnelting put it this way: "As taxpayers and citizens, we have fundamental rights to self-defense." on MetroLink and other public transit to first state concealed-carry permits issued only after undergoing training and background checks.
Missouri permits are still available, however, because some other states with permit laws honor Missouri permits hero at visiting Missouri residents
Taulby Roach, who oversees Metro as the new CEO of the Bi-State Development Agency, said that people in spaces such as trains and buses to legally pack firearms are "untenable" for public safety.
State law now allow only law enforcement personnel to be on MetroLink. Metro has the same rule for buses.
"Cached carry is not a reasonable assumption in a transit environment, just like it is not reasonable at any of those mass situations," Roach said.
Citizens for Modern Transit, a St. Louis area booster group for MetroLink, also called to the idea.
Hicks said the "close quarters" inherent in public transit is the reason for supporting only riders who have undergone the training required to get a concealed-carry permit
Hicks added that a potential lawbreaker "might think twice about trying to rob somebody if they know that the individual may be legally allowed to protect themselves." MetroLink and Metro buses don't operate in Hicks' home county, but one of its largest cities, St. Charles, runs his own bus line.
Roach, the new Bi-state / Metro exec, improving security is his main priority and that he recommends to be made by a team of consultants studying the issue. ] Plans also include reconfiguring some stations to limit access to the trains. A final report is expected next month.
The head of the consulting team has said the amount of crime on MetroLink is not exceptionally high but that it has serious violent incidents from time to time. Roach also replaces Metro's two top security officials.