JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri State Capitol will see an increased security system beginning January 10.
According to a release from the Capitol Police, starting that day, visitors will be searched.
Officers and security personnel will be at the entrances along with X-ray conveyors and walk-through magnetometers.
The release says it is an effort to ensure firearms and other items that could be used as a dangerous weapon are not entering the building. The searches will not only be required of all visitors, it will also apply to lobbyists, contract employees, guests, and members of the media.
State employees and people with regular business with credentials will be allowed to enter using their key cards, which are issued by the state department after the person has been vetted.
No searches will be necessary for those people at the entrances at the East First Floor, the West Basement’s cafeteria door and the Southwest First Floor Carriage door. The searches will be conducted at the first floor’s South Carriage Tunnel and the first floor’s West entrance.
The only people who will not be searched under the new security measures will be children without backpacks or bags.
Conceal and carry is not allowed in the Capitol, and anyone with a firearm will be asked to return it to a secure location before entering the building. Knives with a 4-inch blade or longer will not be permitted, along with explosives, signs fixed on poles or standards, and balloons.
Anything found that violates the standards can be seized and used as evidence for prosecution under the state’s laws.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.