Missouri gun bill will be a focus at Wednesdays veto session

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COLUMBIA - The fate of Senate Bill 656, the Missouri gun bill passed by both houses of the Missouri legislature but vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon, will finally be decided once and for all at the Capitol during the state veto session Wednesday.

This bill would expand gun rights in the state in a number of ways: 

  • Use of deadly force within a 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

In a statement to KOMU 8 News, Becky Morgan of Moms Demand Action said the changes the bill makes could put guns in the wrong people's hands. 

"SB 656 would make it legal for dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public," Morgan said. 

Larry Wayland, owner of Modern Arms in Columbia, said any expansion of Second Amendment rights is right for Missouri. 

"Anytime we see an expansion of gun ownership rights, I think it's a good thing. The closer we can get to a strict adherence to the Constitution is a wonderful thing," Wayland said. 

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. 

In order to override Nixon's veto, the Senate and House both need a two-thirds majority to vote in favor of the bill. If numbers hold from their initial votes earlier in the year, the veto will get overriden. 

Wayland also said allowing for self-defense in the home makes sense for Missourians who may feel threatened. 

"It's just common sense that if you're in your home peacefully and you are attacked, you should not be compelled to have to retreat by statute before you could engage someone with deadly force," Wayland said. 

Moms Demand Action disagrees, and said this bill would actually put Missouri families in more danger. 

"All our families will be less safe if state legislators side with the special interests and override the governor's veto of this dangerous bill," Morgan said. 

Morgan went further and said the legislature should be listening to the people of Missouri rather than gun lobbyists.

"The overwhelming majority of Missourians support our current permit requirement for concealed carry and demand our legislators listen to the will of the people - not the gun lobby," Morgan said. 

By stating the "overwhelming majority of Missourians", she was referring to a poll conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety. This poll asked questions of 861 "likely voters" and found 86 percent of respondents supported the current concealed carry system.