With the National Rifle Association’s annual conference as a backdrop, Governor Matt Blunt has signed legislation securing Missourians’ right to bear arms during an emergency.

SB 257 , signed at the opening session of the NRA gathering in St. Louis, is seen by Blunt and supporters in the Legislature as a self defense measure ensuring law abiding Missourians would be able to defend themselves and their loved ones during any emergency.

The legislation came about, in part, as a result of the breakdown in emergency services and law enforcement in New Orleans during and following Hurricane Katrina. It’s is seen as an effort to make sure Missourians can protect themselves from looters and other criminals. The law takes effect on August 28th.