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New MO bills would block federal gun control laws, expand conceal carry

Guns at a New Jersey gun buyback event. (NJ Advance Media/TNS)
February 19, 2021

Missouri lawmakers are considering multiple “Second Amendment sanctuary” bills this month to protect residents’ gun rights from gun control legislation that could be passed on the federal level.

One of the bills, dubbed the Second Amendment Preservation Act which has already passed the Missouri House and was sent to the Senate on Feb. 8, expands “Missouri’s ability to self-govern without control by the federal government,” allowing federal gun laws to be invalidated if the state determines they violate citizens’ rights.

It would also prohibit local and state law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal laws that violate Missourian’s Second Amendment rights, and those agencies could be held liable if they attempt to enforce federal laws invalidated by the state.

Specific gun taxes, banning law-abiding gun owners from owning or transferring weapons and mandatory gun registration would be considered invalid by the legislation.

“We’ve been told numerous times that Joe Biden is in favor of making changes to the Second Amendment rights,” state Rep. Jered Taylor told KYTV last month. “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.”

Taylor introduced House Bill 85 that seeks to remove limitations on where individuals with concealed carry permits are allowed to bring their firearms. Taylor said the decision to make a space gun-free should be left up to property owners rather than the government.

“It should be up to the private property owner what they allow on their private property,” Taylor said. “Any of the private property locations in statute I’m removing so casinos, bars, amusement parks, churches, if it’s a private school.”

Public college campuses, with exceptions for certain areas, would also fall under the law.

“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.”

Under the law, local governments would also be barred from preventing employees with valid concealed carry permits from carrying guns.

“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.”