Groups protest right up to veto session
JEFFERSON CITY - Numerous organizations were protesting right up to the start of Missouri's veto session in Jefferson City Wednesday morning.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization in support Governor Jay Nixon's veto of Senate Bill 656, took a physical approach to campaigning against the bill in a hundred plus person turnout outside the capitol building at 10 a.m.
Hotly contested SB 656 passed both houses of the Missouri legislature by an overwhelming majority earlier this year. In February, it passed through the Senate by a 31-0 (one abstaining) vote. In May, it passed through the House by a 114-36 vote, before being vetoed by Governor Nixon in June.
If Nixon's veto is overturned the bill would allow:
- Use of deadly force within private property would be lawful for self-defense in specified situations
- Lifetime concealed-carry permits could be purchased for $500 (revocation of permit follows same current guidelines)
- Concealing a firearm in public without a concealed-carry permit would no longer be considered unlawful use of a weapon
Becky Morgan with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said the rally might be exactly what is needed in order for her organizations message to get across to legislators.
"I think this is kinda the exclamation mark on all of our work so far. And I think it could make a difference. I think it is really important for them to see we are passionate about this, we're engaged and we have come all this way," said Morgan said.
Meanwhile, the Missouri Right to Vote Campaign, which is calling on members of the Missouri House and Senate to uphold Nixon's veto of House Bill 1631, held a press call conference at 9:15 a.m.
The bill was first approved by the House in January with a vote of 114 to 39. It was then sent to Senate and approved with vote of 24 to 8. It was officially approved by the House after being sent back from the Senate with an amendment in May with a vote of 112 to 38, before being vetoed by Nixon in July.
If Nixon's veto is overturned the bill would:
- Require individuals to present a non-expired state or federal government issued photo identification in order to vote.
- Authorize election authorities to take a picture of voters who appear at polls without the qualifying ID.
If Nixon's veto is overturned today the executive director of Progress Missouri, Laura Swinford said the press call in the hours before the veto session was arranged in order to remind legislators of where Missourians stand on certain topics.
"Missourians need to let their legislators know were they stand on important issues," Swinford said.