Legislation establishing a Second Amendment Preservation Act had support from rural Missourians during a Tuesday Senate committee hearing in Jefferson City.
State Sen. Eric Burlison, R-Battlefield, the bill sponsor, testified before the Senate General Laws Committee, predicting that President-Elect Joe Biden’s administration will push for gun control.
“Gun bans directly, magazine bans, attacks on private gun manufacturers, red flag laws and restrictions on individual citizens from buying firearms,” Burlison testifies.
Burlison’s Senate Bill 39 declares that it’s the duty of the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Senator Burlison also emphasizes that his bill does not try to prevent the federal government from enforcing federal gun laws in Missouri.
No one testified against the bill at Tuesday’s hearing, although there was written testimony submitted against it. While some who testified for the bill share Burlison’s concern about the Biden Administration, others are more concerned about their own personal protection.
Chuck Marley of eastern Missouri’s High Ridge traveled to Jefferson City to testify for the Burlison bill, saying his son was shot to death in September 2018 while giving a ride to a man who requested one. Marley urges senators to help law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.
“Alex’s killer was a felon on parole from federal prison. He should never have had a gun,” says Marley. “It was illegal for him to have a gun but guess what, he had a gun. No amount of laws is going to keep criminals from having a gun.”
Another person who testified lives in western Missouri’s rural Benton County. She tells senators that she needs a gun to protect herself from drug dealers and motorcycle gangs there.
“I live way in the country (in Benton County). I’ve had meth heads down the road break into my place. I’ve recently got where my life is at stake, one of the head guys down there wants to take me out to join a motorcycle gang,” the woman testifies.
Burlison’s bill declares as invalid all federal laws that infringe on the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. The sheriff of northeast Missouri’s Lewis County, David Parrish, has concern with some of the bill’s language. He testified for informational purposes only, emphasizing the importance of protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Former State Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, a former judge, has read the bill and says it’s “unconstitutional on its face.”
As for Senator Burlison, he says all Missouri gun laws would remain in effect, under his bill. Burlison sponsored a similar bill in 2013, which was vetoed by then-Governor Jay Nixon (D). An override attempt that fall failed by one vote.
Burlison also testifies that Missouri shelves are almost bare now, regarding ammunition.
Senate General Laws Committee Chairman William Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, indicated Tuesday that the committee will vote on the bill at their next hearing.
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