Cornejo files legislation expanding gun accessibility


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, pre-filed two pieces of legislation that will expand gun rights across the state.

HB 1764 and HB 1765 are designed by Cornejo to, in his view, uphold the second amendment. HB 1765 would exempt firearms, their accessories and up to $1,500 worth of ammunition from seizure by creditors should the owners of the weapons and ammo fall into debt.

“It is unconscionable that a private company can unilaterally move to disarm law-abiding citizens and deny their Constitutional right to bear arms” Cornejo said in a statement. “This bill strikes the delicate balance of protecting an individual’s right to bear arms and ensuring that the creditor is paid as much as possible towards what it is owed.”

HB 1764, however, would be a larger change by altering Missouri’s concealed carry law. Currently, there are a handful of locations concealed carry licensed gun owners cannot take their weapons (unless allowed by the owners of such establishments), including schools, correctional institutes, bars, casinos, child care facilities, hospitals and large sports arenas.

Churches and other places of religious worship also fall on that list, but owners of religious establishments can permit guns on the property if they so desire.

Cornejo wants to reverse the way the statute allows guns on those premises. Instead of banning firearms on those properties unless permission is given, his bill would instead allow guns on those premises unless owners of those establishments explicitly ban them.

“[HB] 1764 allows citizens to feel safe during worship knowing that they have the legal right to protect themselves if the unfortunate circumstances of an active shooter were to occur,” Cornejo said. He went on to cite the shootings in Selma, Alabama and Charleston, South Carolina earlier this year, the latter of which resulted in the deaths of nine people.