Statement from Sen. Kurt Schaefer Regarding Proposed Closing of Guantanamo Bay Prison

Schaefer - Statement Banner - 2016

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, today issued the following statement relating to the president’s proposed plan to shut down the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and relocate the remaining 91 detainees to their home countries or U.S. prisons:

“The president’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and bring the world’s most dangerous terrorists to American soil is not only wrong, it is dangerous. The safety of Americans should be his top priority, not the well-being of those who wish to destroy our country and our way of life.”

Sen. Schaefer has proposed three pieces of legislation during the Second Regular Session of the 98th General Assembly, which seek to reform Missouri standards for defining acts of terrorism and handling those who have been found to engage or be associated with terrorist organizations. Sen. Schaefer’s proposed terrorism Senate bills are currently in the process of being heard in the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

“I have sponsored these three pieces of legislation to ensure that any person who has the wish of harming our country, or is associated with any organization that poses a threat to Missouri’s safety will be held responsible and dealt with to the fullest extent of the law,” Schaefer said. “As a former prosecutor, I have protected honest Americans from criminals who would do them harm. Now as a lawmaker, I see it as my responsibility to protect Missourians from the danger of terrorism and its agents, which is currently more of a threat than ever due to the president’s proposal.”

Sen. Schaefer’s three proposed pieces of terrorism legislation are as follows: Senate Bill 775 adds committing murder as an act of terrorism to the list of aggravating circumstances that may result in the death penalty; Senate Bill 891 requires state prison and local jail volunteers be screened for terrorist connections and proclivities; and Senate Bill 939 creates the offense of terrorism as an act with the purpose of intimidating, influencing or affecting government policy and conduct through intimidation, which causes serious physical injury as a result.