State lawmakers wrap up session by passing conceal and carry bill

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JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers marked the end of the legislative session by passing a measure that would redefine regulations on concealing and carrying a gun.

SB 656 contains a "stand your ground" provision allowing individuals to use force in self-defense without attempting to retreat first in certain situations.

Both the Senate and the House passed the proposal with only hours remaining in the session, and it now heads to Governor Nixon's desk. But at a news conference Friday evening, Nixon did not say whether he would veto it or not.

While discussion surrounding the conceal and carry measure took up much of the final day's debate, it was only one of many large issues discussed this session.

Lawmakers discussed ethics reform, debating four separate bills during the session.

Governor Nixon said he's proud of the progress that has been made, but there is still more work to do when it comes to ethics reform.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed.

"I think it was a success, but certainly not everything we wanted we got," said Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-St. Louis County, said she also had mixed feelings.

"There were a bunch of bills - ethics bills - that made it to the governor's desk or are on the way to the governor's desk so I'm really happy about that," Chapelle-Nadal, said.  "I do believe, however, that many of those ethic bills did not go as far as they could have."

One ethics reform bill, HB 2166, would have placed limitations on lobbyist gifts. It was not discussed in the Senate or the House Friday.

The proposed fuel tax was another issue that did not make it to the floor for the last day.