Guns at the state fair

Friday, August 20, 2004

Columbia Daily Tribune

Knowing its decision was controversial, the Missouri State Fair Commission quietly decided to allow concealed weapons everywhere on the fairground except in the grandstands, where liquor is sold.

This policy contradicts the one common in other state facilities and in most private businesses, where firearms and other weapons are explicitly forbidden. At the state fair, prohibition signs refer only to grandstands. ...

It also should put every person and family on notice that no telling how many members of the crowd whose elbows they brush might be carrying heat in a venue where violence is possible. People drink on the grounds. Outbursts of "concourse rage" can erupt. ...

Chances are no such disaster will occur. ... But indisputably, the more guns people randomly carry, the more chance of injury or death to innocent victims.

... The best and only way to protect against such liability in any given venue is to make and publicize strict prohibition policies. Having made none, the state can expect to be found partially liable if someone is injured or killed by anyone toting a concealed weapon on its fairground.

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