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Gun opponents and supporters make last push on morning of veto session


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — While SB 656 opponents rallied in the Capitol Wednesday as part of their campaign to sustain the veto, gun supporters showed up to lobby in support of an override.

The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America made good on their promises to pack the Capitol rotunda with volunteers. At the rally, police chiefs, gun safety advocates and victims of gun violence spoke out against the bill.

After the rally, the moms began hitting the offices of legislators to make one final push for their campaign to sustain.

But just outside the rally, gun advocates were making their own final push to override the veto. Advocates from the Missouri Firearms Coalition delivered 7,000 petitions to Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe’s office urging an override of the veto. They also took Facebook Live videos and photos of the Moms Demand rally to show how organized the opposition has been.

Then they urged followers to make legislators phones “glow” with calls urging an override of the veto.

On a pre-session #moleg podcast, Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, the bill’s sponsor, said he thought he would have the votes to override the veto.

“To my knowledge there are [the votes] unless somebody flips on me,” he said. “Your word is your bond down here and from what I’ve gathered, everything is fine.”

He also took the opportunity to defend the bill that’s created a firestorm. He admitted there’s been confusion on both sides of the issue, but didn’t back down from what he thought was a good bill.

“Criminals don’t obey the law,” he said. “That’s a classic comment of [the left] though. They want to get the guns out of everybody’s hands, which take away the rights of the law-abiding citizens.”

The bill must be overridden in the Senate before it heads to the House.