No state senator admits National Rifle Association pressure has gotten to them, but those who voted last week to require gun owners to report the theft of guns within 72 hours have reversed their votes.
Senator Jamilla Nasheed’s amendment had gone on a bill last week letting the state decide what federal gun laws and regulations it will enforce, and limiting federal agents enforcement of federal gun laws. The NRA quickly asked members to contact Senators and get them to reverse their votes. Late last night Republican Senators who had voted for the 72-hour reporting period reversed themselves and took the amendment off of the bill in a straight party line vote. Nasheed, a Democrat, says the vote says a lot about who really controls the state senate.
AUDIO: Nasheed :22
St. Joseph Senator Rob Schaaf, who made the reconsideration motion, says there is “an emotional element” to the ownership of a gun. Therefore—-
AUDIO: Schaaf :10
–and he doesn’t think that’s any of law enforcement’s business. Schaaf says he decided to reverse his vote before the NRA made a similar argument.
One of those critical of the NRA’s tactics is Senator Maria Chappelle Nadal of University City, whose personal Facebook page has attracted a number of comments that she calls “thuggery.”
AUDIO: Chappelle-Nadal :11 “some”
St. Louis Senator John Lamping was skeptical of Nasheed’s suggestion that her idea would lower the St. Louis murder rate. Suppose, he asked, someone stole his wife’s gun used it in a crime.
Senate leader Tom Dempsey says another factor is involved. Nasheed’s plan did not include any civil penalties for failure to report. But Dempsey says the door was left open for civil liability actions against the owner if the stolen gun was used in a crime.
AUDIO: Dempsey :10
The sponsor of the main bill, Brian Nieves of Washington, says the NRA has yet to correct the wrong information it circulated last week in its call for action.
The Senate is expected to send his bill to the House on Thursday.