Missouri lawmakers override Nixon\'s veto on gun control bill

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JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers have overridden a veto of a wide-ranging guns bill that will let more people carry concealed weapons and give them greater legal rights to defend themselves.

The Republican-led Legislature enacted Senate Bill 656 into law Wednesday by a 24-6 Senate vote and a 112-41 vote in the House.

Both exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

Missouri will join 10 other states with what supporters describe as a "constitutional carry" right.

The law now allows:

  • 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. That means they won't have to go through the training currently required for permit holders. 

While the bill was approved by the Missouri legislators it has not yet passed the approval of some Missourians.

Becky Morgan with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun regulation advocacy group, said the passing of the bill was a major mistake.

"This bill was rushed through on the very last day of session and then again rushed through on a veto session. so there wasn't enough debate, there wasn't enough talk on this bill," Morgan said.  "And so it's a very dangerous position to put the residents of Missouri in."

Morgan is not alone in her stance, as some law enforcement officials in the state are in opposition of the bill as well.

Sergeant Charles Lowe of the St. Louis Police Department, who said the bill was not in the best interest of the public.

"I feel like it would put guns in criminals hands after they've been convicted of crimes," Lowe said.

Despite the opposition of the bill, the decision does line up with the decisions initially made by the Senate and House of  Representatives earlier in 2016.

In February, it passed through the Senate by a 31-0 (one abstaining) vote, and in May, it passed through the House by a 114-36 vote.