The last week of April saw significant activity in both the Missouri House and Senate regarding pro-gun and self-defense legislation this session.
“Our state legislature has been quite pro-active in recognizing our basic right of self-defense and safeguarding our Second Amendment rights,” says Law Shield Missouri Independent Program Attorney Deborah Alessi.
On April 27, 2016, State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) amended Senate Bill 663, an omnibus crime bill, with critical self-defense language, known as Stand Your Ground. Senate Bill 663 and this pro-gun amendment by Senator Schaefer amends current legislation and provides that a person does not have a duty to retreat from any place that such person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity has a right to be.
“This amendment expands Missouri’s current Stand your Ground laws,” said Alessi.
The bill as amended goes before the full Senate for final vote and upon final passage, will go to the House for consideration.
“If the piece of legislation gains the approval of the House and is signed into law by the Governor, Missouri will join a host of other states that affords their citizens the right to protect themselves wherever the threat occurs,” Alessi went on to say.
In other action in Jefferson City, On April 26, 2016, the House overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1468, a “Constitutional Carry” measure designed to ease limits on the concealed carry of weapons.
Alessi says, “This legislation would allow law-abiding individuals to carry concealed guns without a permit anywhere they now can carry openly, something that doesn’t require a permit.”
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Eric Burlison said in a statement, “In 2014 Missourians made it abundantly clear that they have grown tired of the repeated attacks on our Second Amendment rights. This legislation simply aligns Missouri statutes with our state constitution so that our citizens can lawfully carry a concealed weapon without a permit.”
“This bill will allow law-abiding gun owners the ability to better protect themselves and their families,” Alessi went on to say, “by allowing them to legally carry a concealed firearm without the requirement of obtaining a permit.”
House Bill 1468 will now move to the Senate where it will await a committee referral for further consideration.