The lawmakers who carried a sweeping gun rights expansion proposal say Governor Jay Nixon is missing an important detail in his rationale for vetoing it.
Nixon said in his veto message the bill would let people legally carry a concealed firearm even if they have been denied a concealed carry permit by a sheriff because a background check revealed criminal offenses or the sheriff believed the individual poses a danger.
“He fails to recognize that all those people that we’re allowing with the constitutional carry can currently carry openly in the state of Missouri,” said the bill’s sponsor, Senator Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown). “All this bill does is allow them to carry concealed where they would now have to carry open.”
The bill’s House handler, Representative Eric Burlison (R-Springfield) agrees.
“It’s not about how you carry but where you’d have the right to carry, and so getting the permit allows a person more privileges and locations of where they’re allowed to carry than where they currently cannot carry,” said Burlison.
“Personally I would rather see people carry concealed, especially our law-abiding citizens,” said Munzlinger. “What this bill does is give law-abiding citizens the right to protect themselves. In the crazy world we’re in we definitely need the right to protect ourselves.”
Both men believe the governor’s veto will be overridden when the legislature convenes for its annual veto session in September. Burlison expects some Democrats to vote with the governor but still believes there will be enough support to overturn the veto.
“There’s nothing changed and there’s no new information about the bill. Even the governor’s opposition is something that we discussed on the House floor and they discussed in the Senate,” said Burlison.
Burlison believes the governor’s veto is evidence that his eight years as governor, with an armed security detail, has made him forget what it’s like to be a citizen.
“If we were in the budget process I would be suggesting that we eliminate the budget for the governor’s security detail and instead give him a budget for him to purchase and carry a firearm himself so he knows and is reminded what it’s like to be a normal citizen,” said Burlison.
The bill would also expand the state’s “castle doctrine,” which allows homeowners to use deadly force against intruders by letting invited guests to also use such force. It also included a “stand your ground” provision to let people in a place they were legally allowed to use deadly force against a perceived threat, without retreating.