Missouri lawmakers and visitors at the state capitol told ABC 17 News they felt safe just hours after a shooting in Virginia that appeared to target legislators.
“I feel like the capitol’s really safe,” Rep. Bruce Franks said.
“It’s scary when someone will go after politicians for their beliefs or the party they represent,” Senator Wayne Wallingford added.
Security was elevated at the capitol Wednesday but a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said that was because of the special session. He said he didn’t know of any elevated security in reaction to the Virginia shooting.
In a statement, Missouri Capitol Police said they do “not discuss specific security measures or procedures. However, MCP and other Department of Public Safety agencies continuously monitor events – local, national and international – and adjust accordingly based on the potential threats.”
Senator Wallingford told ABC 17 News that it’s unfortunate we live in a society where so many security precautions have to be taken.
“I came in the legislature in the House of Representatives in January of 2011 and of course we didn’t have those kind of restrictions at that time. And this is the people’s house. This is their capitol and they could freely come in and leave when they wanted to,” he said. “But each year it seems like across the nation something happens, which causes us to have more restrictions and of course now we have restricted entrances and metal detectors.”
ABC 17 News reported in January when new security upgrades were added to the capitol. Those upgrades, which included metal detectors, cost more than $400,000.
Some visitors at the capitol said the shooting in Virginia made them question our state’s gun legislation.
“I’d like tougher gun laws so that we can feel safer on the streets,” one visitor said.