Two bills in the Missouri legislature would further ease restrictions for gun owners. Representative Jered Taylor and Senator Eric Burlison, who both represent Christian County, introduced the bills.
One of those bills, House Bill 85 and Senate Bill 39 is the Second Amendment Preservation Act. Representative Jered Taylor says this will prevent police and deputies in Missouri from enforcing any federal gun laws– even if the federal laws become stricter than what they are now.
“We’ve been told numerous times that Joe Biden is in favor of making changes to the second amendment rights,” Representative Jered Taylor says. “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.”
Owner of Cherokee Firearms Nick Newman says he appreciates what Taylor is trying to do but doesn’t know if it’ll be able to happen.
“In our industry the federal government has the final say about what’s allowed and what isn’t allowed,” Newman says.
While he supports the right to own a gun, Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole worries this legislation could prevent him from working with federal law enforcement to hold people accountable.
”We see a lot of offenders that are charged with violent crimes in the state, under state charges, that go to prison and spend a very, very short amount of time in prison before they’re released back out into the population,” Sheriff Cole says. “Those are the people we’re worried about.”
The second bill relates to carrying concealed firearms. House Bill 86 and Senate Bill 117 says the of unlawful use of a weapon is committed if someone knowingly carries a concealed firearm into places where signs are posted stating that concealed firearm carrying is off limits and refuses to leave, they can be charged with trespassing.
Newman says some of these “gun free zones” can be problematic.
“People go to the mall or they go to their doctors office, they can’t carry a gun with them,” Newman says. “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.”
The bill plans to repeal certain statutes of Missouri’s concealed carry law that stop a valid permit holder from carrying concealed weapons into any privately owned or some public places.
“It should be up to the private property owner what they allow on their private property,” Taylor says. “Any of the private property locations in statute I’m removing so casinos, bars, amusement parks, churches, if it’s a private school.”
Taylor says any public higher education institution can make their own policies about concealed carry weapons on campus, as long as the policies don’t generally restrict the ability to carry a concealed weapon.
“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 says. “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.”
The bill would also prohibit city and county government from creating laws restricting an employee with a valid permit from carrying a concealed weapon.