Every Picture Tells A Story, Part VI

With the Show-Me State becoming the 11th state to adopt some form of constitutional carry, Rob Vance has updated the graphic we’ve been publishing since 2011. The latest graphic shifts Missouri from shall-issue concealed carry to constitutional concealed carry. They already had open carry.

Back in April, I said that I might have to update what I said a few years ago. To wit, that shall-issue is the new norm. I concluded that I might have to change this to constitutional carry is the new norm. I think that might be going a little far but one can always hope.

My fellow co-host of the Polite Society Podcast Rachel Malone is very active in Republican politics at the state level in Texas. She said in our last podcast that the Texas State Republican Executive Committee had adopted constitutional carry as one of their key legislative priorities in 2017. Imagine how the blue area would expand if the second largest state by both size and population adopted constitutional carry!

To illustrate how much things have changed since the original graphic was published, I am reposting the graphic. No issue (the red area) has gone to virtually nil and unrestricted (blue area) has grown exponentially.

Missouri Goes Constitutional Carry On January 1st

The Missouri General Assembly overrode the earlier veto by Gov. Jay Nixon (D-MO) of Senate Bill 656 which now allows any person legally entitled to possess a firearm to carry that firearm without a permit. SB 656 also created lifetime carry permits, expanded both the castle doctrine and stand your ground protections, gave military members a longer period of time to renew their permits, and limits the cost of a permit to $100. The bill did not do away with permits but made the need for one pretty much irrelevant.

The override vote in the Senate was 24-6 and 112-41 in the House of Representatives. The official roll call vote breakdown of the Senate override has not been published as of yet.

The provisions of SB 656 with the exception of constitutional carry become effective in 30 days. Constitutional carry will not become effective until January 1, 2017. SB 656 rewrote Section 571.130 of the Missouri Revised Statutes which previously made it a crime to carry a weapon including a firearm concealed without a permit. The revision now makes it a crime to carry a concealed weapon in places where it is forbidden by Section 571.107. These places include correctional facilities, police stations, polling places on Election Day, court houses, and the like.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Gov. Nixon and other Democrats contend this will make the state less safe:

Nixon has said the bill would make the state less safe by taking power away from local law enforcement, who under current law issue permits to citizens who have completed a firearm safety training course and passed a background check.

Getting weapons without training raised a red flag even for gun-friendly Democrats.

“I don’t think it’s a burden to take an eight-hour course to understand the dos and the don’ts, the shoulds and the shouldn’ts, of carrying a loaded firearm,” said Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, who waved his own concealed carry permit while speaking on the Senate floor.

St. Louis lawmakers said the lack of training would make the city more dangerous.

“We’re putting citizens in the place of law enforcement who have training and skills and experience,” said Rep. Kim Gardner, a Democrat who is set to become the next St. Louis circuit attorney.

Sponsoring Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, said the bill would give law-abiding Missourians the right to conceal and carry in places that already allow permitless open carry. It will take effect in 2017.

The video below from KMOV St Louis shows some of the debate over the bill’s override in the House. St. Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis), the reigning poster girl of Mayor Bloomberg’s Demanding Mommies, says “the bill we just passed will ensure, guarantee it, more gun deaths.”


Gun Rights Amendment Passes In Missouri

Amendment Five which would make the right to keep and bear arms “unalienable” in the state of Missouri was adopted by a two to one margin yesterday. It was one of a handful of constitutional amendments on the ballot in Missouri during yesterday’s primary election. Other amendments considered dealt with a transportation tax, a guaranteed right to farming, electronic privacy, and a veterans lottery ticket to fund veterans’ services.

Amendment Five which will become Section 23, Article I of the Missouri Constitution does a number of things. First, it extended the right to keep and bear arms to include ammunition and accessories. Second, and in my opinion the most important part of this amendment, it subjects any restriction on the right to keep and bear arms to strict scrutiny. Third, it obligates the government of the state of Missouri to uphold these rights and not to decline to protect them from infringement. Finally, it makes clear that this amendment does not prevent the legislature from restricting the rights of convicted violent felons and those adjudicated mentally ill.

Amendment Five also removed that portion of the previous Section 23 that said the right to keep and bear arms “shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.”

If one listened to the opponents of Amendment Five, it was going to lead to blood in the streets and a bankrupt government. Particularly amusing were the cost figures submitted by former state budget official Mark Reading whose work was funded by Everytown for Gun Safety.

Reading projected the proposal could cost state and local governments $244 million, including $115 million for additional security at state-owned buildings and $54 million for school police officers to protect people from an assumed increase in gun violence. He also projected a $71 million loss in state and local tax revenues if tourists boycott Missouri because of its pro-gun constitution.

These numbers were rightly deemed “ridiculous” by Deputy State Auditor Harry Otto. I just don’t imagine a lot of residents of the Bay Area or New York City are traveling to St. Louis to see the Arch and partake in riverboat gambling.

The final vote in favor of Amendment Five was 602,076 (61%) with 385,422 (31%) opposed.

Concealed Carry On Buses And Trains In Missouri

Concealed carry on the St. Louis light rail system, MetroLink, is not only prohibited but a felony. Moreover, as noted in the comments in my post on concealed carry at the NRA Annual Meeting, carry on buses is specifically prohibited.

Things may be changing on this. Missouri Rep. Ed Schieffer (D-Troy) has introduced a bill, HB 1483, which would forbid any local government from prohibiting concealed carry on trains or public buses. The relevant section of his bill states:

3. No political subdivision of this state shall prohibit a person with a valid concealed carry endorsement from carrying a concealed firearm onto a train or public bus.

The bill has bi-partisan support with three Democrat co-sponsors and four Republican co-sponsors. Of greater interest is that two of the Democrats, Rep. Tommie Pierson and Rep. Eileen McGeoghegan, represent districts in St. Louis County.

According to a story in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Metro officials contend that crime is not a problem on their buses and trains. They report spending $10 million a year on security and have contracts with the St. Louis PD, the St. Louis County PD, and the St. Clair County (IL) Sheriff’s Department. The article notes that the transit authority earned TSA’s “Gold Standard” for their commitment to rider safety.

Public hearings were held on the bill on April 3rd. Again, from the Post-Dispatch story:

Steve Marx, who owns Marx Hardware in Old North St. Louis, testified in favor of the bill at last week’s hearing. Marx said he would like to ride public transportation from his home to work but he worries about his safety. He rarely goes anywhere without his gun since he was assaulted on the street near his home two years ago, he said.

“If I choose to wait for public transit on the street, I’m vulnerable — very vulnerable,” he said. “This is why I feel so strongly about this issue.”…

Marx said he thinks more people will use public transportation — particularly with rising fuel costs — if the bill passes. “My whole point is that mass transit needs to be opened up to more people — more ridership,” he said.

Of course, like any newspaper piece nowadays, they included comments on the proposed bill from those suffering from PsH.

Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis, disagrees. “Parents with kids who ride the trains aren’t going to let them if they know people are packing on the trains,” he said.

MetroLink rider Amy Lee of St. Charles said she doesn’t agree with the idea of allowing transit passengers to carry concealed guns.

“That would scare me,” she said. “I don’t know that I would ride the Metro.”

Nancy Kinney of St. Louis, a regular MetroLink and bus rider, said she would be less inclined to ride if she knew other riders could be carrying handguns. “I mean it’s different if they’re a security guard or a police officer,” she said. “But John Doe? No.”

The bill has not been calendared yet but the House General Laws Committee could take it up in their meeting today. Similar bills have passed in Texas, Georgia, and Indiana.