Governors in Kansas and Missouri Veto School Gun Detection Funding Legislation

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Governors in Missouri and Kansas have vetoed legislation to fund gun-detection video surveillance equipment in schools.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) vetoed the $2.5 million grant proposal on Friday, following Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto in May of a similar measure that would have earmarked up to $5 million for gun-detection video surveillance systems.

Both measures would have only benefitted one particular company, ZeroEyes, reports Local News 8. Although several companies offer gun detection video surveillance systems, Kansas’ legislation, if passed, would have included a long list of specific criteria that only one vendor could meet.

ZeroEyes was the supporter of the bills in Kansas and Missouri, as well as in several other states.

In a statement, Kelly said, “We should not hamstring districts by limiting this funding opportunity to services provided by one company,” reports The Hill.

Likewise, Parsons explained his veto to lawmakers in a letter, saying, “this appropriation appears to describe a specific vendor’s platform.” He also noted that the Department of Public Safety should follow Missouri’s purchasing laws and not contract with a particular vendor.

Issue: ‘Anti-Terrorism’ Designation In Gun Detection Bill

The Hill reports that text from Kansas’ legislation that was vetoed required the detection software to be patented and “designated as qualified anti-terrorism technology.” Similar legislation has already been enacted in other states, including Michigan, Texas, Florida, Utah, and Iowa, although Iowa amended its legislation to not have the anti-terrorism designation go into effect until July 1, 2025. This will give other vendors time to receive that federal designation.

Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, and other states have also been heavily lobbied by the vendor pushing the vetoed legislation in Kansas and Missouri.

Both Kelly’s and Parson’s denials of the bills involved line-item vetoes. In Parson’s case, a total of 173 line items were vetoed, resulting in $1 billion in cuts, reports the Columbia Missourian. In Kelly’s case, $5 million for school safety grants was left intact, while the wording that favors the one gun detection video surveillance system was deleted.

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