Back in January, Missouri Republicans led off the state legislative session by introducing a number of bills that would greatly minimize gun regulation in the state. Among them were HB 1865, which permitted gun owners to keep their firearms in their vehicles, and HB 1937, which took control of open carry regulation away from "political subdivisions" like cities and towns. These bills mimic efforts of conservatives in other states to overthrow years of adherence to "local control" and force a one-size-fits-all approach to firearms regulation to a large, diverse state.
There was some hope in the wake of the Parkland murders that lawmakers would pump the brakes and reconsider the move toward more guns in more places for any reason, but these bills (and a passel of others) are headed soon to the Missouri House floor to be debated and, if partisan tendencies hold, passed.
Missouri Rep. Stacey Newman wrote an op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that is a must read in which she takes her colleagues to task for not listening to the voices who want change in the opposite direction:
Rep. Robert Cornejo, General Laws Committee chair, advanced a package of gun-lobby bills: “guns in cars” (HB 1865), “guns in churches, day cares, bars, colleges, etc.” (HB 1936) and prohibiting towns from regulating open carry of guns (HB 1937). In the public hearings, he included several Democrat-sponsored bills such as mine restricting ammunition sales to minors, copying federal law (HB 1342), but as expected, the Democrat proposals were voted down by a party-line vote.
The gun-lobby-sponsored bills will be up any day now for House floor debate and will have the vote of several Democratic and every single Republican legislator (as explicitly indicated in their state party platform). The governor will sign these into law because he said so in his machine gun campaign commercial. These bills are solely designed to increase firearm sales.
I say BS.
LEAP Forward will continue to grade action on these bills as they move through the legislative process, and thanks Rep. Newman for her plain-spoken opposition and for correctly pointing out that grown-ups have failed our kids.