JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Carrying a concealed weapon anywhere where it is not expressly prohibited could soon be allowed in Missouri after HB 1468 passed the House 112-37 Tuesday afternoon.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, passed after a quick debate, just two representatives were allowed to speak before Majority Leader Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit, moved the previous question. There was significant debate on the bill during the perfection process that took place over several sessions.
“Requiring people to pay background checks and heavy fees, does not put anything on the criminal. It puts the burden on the people who need to defend themselves,” Burlison said about his bill.
Democratic opposition to the legislation was voiced by Rep. Stacy Newman, D-St. Louis, who said the bill does nothing to help the gun violence epidemic plaguing Missouri.
“What is this bill? How does this bill answer this huge gun violence epidemic in St. Louis and Kansas City and throughout our state?” she asked. “The answer in this bill right here is to sell more guns. Let’s arm everyone. But there’s no training required.”
Newman also said that the idea that a good guy with a gun wasn’t a theory endorsed by law enforcement when she asked them. “‘Duck and cover. That’s your defense,’” she said is what they told her. “Because they assume, that the only ones that are armed in a bad situation is the bad guys.”
But Burlison said this was about making sure citizens could express their constitutional rights.
“It does nothing to change the law on who can or cannot own a firearm or carry a firearm,” he said. “This law applies to law-abiding citizens.”