Jefferson City, MO – Missouri lawmakers are considering multiple bills aimed at protecting law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights in the face of potential gun control legislation at the federal level.
One bill would remove limitations to some of the locations where valid concealed firearms permit holders would be allowed to carry their guns, KYTV reported.
“People go to the mall or they go to their doctor’s office, [and] they can’t carry a gun with them,” Cherokee Firearms Owner Nick Newman told KYTV. “If you’re a CCW holder what do you do? You leave them in your car. So, as a criminal then what do you do? That’s a great shopping area to go to the hospital parking lots and start breaking into cars because there’s a higher profitability of finding something there.”
Representative Jered Taylor (R, Nixa), who sponsored House Bill 86, said property owners should be the ones deciding if they want to make their spaces into gun-free zones – not the government.
“It should be up to the private property owner what they allow on their private property,” Taylor told KYTV. “Any of the private property locations in statute I’m removing so casinos, bars, amusement parks, churches, if it’s a private school.”
The law would also apply to public college campuses, with certain exceptions for specific areas.
“Maybe there’s a lab that if something were to happen and a gun were to go off then there would be an explosion,” Taylor explained. “Of course, we want them to have that ability to say ‘no we don’t want you to be able to carry into those locations.’ We do give a little bit of authority back to the university to figure out some of those more sensitive locations.”
City and county governments would also be prohibited from establishing laws that would prevent their employees with valid CCW permits from carrying their firearms, KYTV reported.
State lawmakers are also considering the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which as already passed the Missouri House, the Boonville Daily News reported.
The proposed law aims to empower “Missouri’s ability to self-govern without control by the federal government,” according to the Missourian.
Federal gun laws the state deems to be infringing on Missouri citizens’ Second Amendment rights would be invalidated within Missouri, the Booneville Daily News reported.
Local and state law enforcement agencies would also be prohibited from enforcing federal laws that violate citizens’ right to bear arms, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Law enforcement agencies could also be held liable if they knowingly try to enforce federal laws nullified by the state, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Imposing certain taxes on firearms, prohibiting law-abiding gun owners from possessing or transferring their weapons, and requiring firearms owners to register their guns would all be deemed invalid under the legislation, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.
“We’ve been told numerous times that Joe Biden is in favor of making changes to the Second Amendment rights,” Taylor told KYTV. “With those concerns and concerns that we’ve had in the past with other presidents, we want to make sure that as Missourians we’re protecting that Second Amendment right.”
“We, as a state, have always agreed that our Second Amendment rights are so sacred, so protected,” he added, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. “I think we know best what should happen in our state.”
The Missouri House Democratic Caucasus has denounced any legislation that would loosen firearms restrictions.
“While Republicans debate nullifying federal gun laws, they actively ignored the scourge of gun violence that has plagued this state caused by their repeated repeals of restrictions on guns,” said Assistant Minority Floor Leader Richard Brown (D, Kansas City), according to the Missourian. “Our caucus has solutions to the gun violence epidemic, and those bills ought to be heard on the floor of the Missouri House.”