The Missouri House of Representatives passed a safety bill that includes requirements for bullet-resistant doors and glazing in schools.

Missouri’s proposed bill would mandate that all schools in the state have bullet-resistant doors and windows on all first-floor entryways and bullet-resistant glazing for each exterior window large enough for an intruder to enter.

The wide-ranging public safety bill, MO HB1108, proposes that beginning in 2024-25, all schools in the state must have bullet-resistant doors and windows on all first-floor entryways and bullet-resistant glazing for each exterior window large enough for an intruder to enter.

Legislators advanced the measure to the Senate on April 17, 2023, on a 116-10 vote, with 26 lawmakers voting present.

The Committee of Legislative Research Oversight Division reported in its fiscal summary that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act funding of $15 million could be used to replace the existing doors and windows. The oversight division estimates the installation costs would exceed $5 million.

Opposition

Some House members opposed the effort to add bullet-resistant doors and glazing. State Rep. Maggie Nurrenburn argued during the debate of the bill that legislators are taking the wrong approach to protecting children.

“Is it next going be body armor for every kid so they can go to school? Because the interesting thing about it doesn’t matter,” she said. “We bulletproof the outside of the buildings. People are walking inside with guns, right? So, what happens when the threat is from the inside? I’m just sick and tired of talking about crime prevention or public safety and never addressing guns.”

Are Schools Safe?

Since the federal government does not track school shootings, The Washington Post has compiled a school shootings database dating back to 1999. According to its data, there have been 377 school shootings since 1999. In 2022 alone, there were 46 school shootings. Encompassing all attacks, the data shows that at least 199 children, educators and others have been killed, while another 425 have been injured.

The frequency of school shootings has increased since 2018. In 2017, the U.S. averaged 11 school shootings yearly, never exceeding 16. However, after students returned to onsite classrooms following the pandemic, school shootings per year have more than doubled.

How Bullet-Resistant Glazing Protects Children

The most recent shooting in March at the Covenant School in Nashville showed that bullet-resistant glazing on the front doors could have deterred the attacker long enough for help to arrive. However, the front doors were not fortified, allowing the attacker to access the facility easily.

Bullet-resistant glazing is used as a deterrent. Tom Czyz, CEO of Armoured One, explained that the glazing is meant to “slow down attackers, giving the people inside more time to react, and emergency response teams more time to arrive at the scene and defuse the situation.”