Missourians Rally for Life-Saving Law

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JEFFERSON CITY - More than 50 people rallied Tuesday at the State Capitol for a law supporters said will save lives. The bill, called the "911 Good Samaritan Law," is supposed to protect people on drugs from charges if they contact police or hospitals to help someone who has overdosed.

Jennifer and Bob Gore was at the rally holding a sign with the words "I'd be alive" and a picture of their 20-year-old son, Nick Gore. Last year, Nick Gore died after an overdose of heroin. His friends left him in a car and didn't call authorities.

"We are doing this for everybody else, to try to save lives. Who cares if they have drugs on them? Make that call. Save that life. You can do it. As opposed to what they did to my son where they just took off," said Bob Gore.

About ten states in the United States already have similar laws.

Cole County Sheriff Greg White said the concept has potential to save lives, but also has a significant downside. The law could potentially protect drug dealers who have given their customers heroin that is too potent.

Although the authorities may not be able to prosecute for a crime in that situation, they could still use their "common sense" factors, co-sponsor of the bill, Republican Mike Kelley of Lamar, explained.

"The police can look into other measures and use them later. Keep that person under surveillance, check contacts, friends and habits. It wouldn't apply directly to that situation and we would still have a persons life saved," Kelley said.