A major piece of gun legislation passed by the legislature this session is sitting on Governor Jay Nixon’s desk, awaiting his decision.

Nixon hasn’t signaled whether he’ll sign or veto Senate Bill 656, saying only that he is “going to have to look at this and balance what I believe is right for Missourians’ right to bear arms with the other issues involved.”

The all-encompassing bill would:

  • eliminate the requirement to get a permit to legally walk around in public with concealed guns
  • reduce the penalty for carrying a firearm into buildings where it is not allowed from a felony to a misdemeanor
  • implement a so-called stand your ground law that says people no longer have a duty to try to retreat before using lethal force if they think their life is in danger
  • also expand the castle doctrine to permit invited guests in a home to use deadly force on intruders
  • create a lifetime version that never expires for those who still want to get a concealed-carry permit.

Term limits will force Nixon out of office this year. And while he’s largely struck a moderate position on guns — signing some bills and vetoing others — it appears as though regardless of whether he’s replaced by a Republican or a Democrat, proponents of less stringent gun regulations will have a friend in the governor’s mansion next year.

All four Republican candidates for governor have expressed support for the provisions in the bill. And the presumptive Democratic nominee, Attorney General Chris Koster, in an interview with The Associated Press said “I haven’t heard anything that would cause me to think that the governor should veto it.”

The Governor has until mid-July to decide.

U.S. Law Shield has reported on this measure previously.