Missouri Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto Of Pro-Gun Bill
I would, however, differ with the author of the article when he says, “The new law will considerably expand Second Amendment rights for citizens of the state.” It does not expand the 2nd Amendments Rights. It protects the Rights that already exist. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
Written by Bob Adelmann
During a special session called by the Missouri legislature specifically to consider Governor Ray Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656, lawmakers voted to override his veto on Wednesday. The new law will considerably expand Second Amendment rights for citizens of the state.
It prevents local municipalities from passing laws that ban open carry. In essence, the new law now makes open carry legal throughout Missouri.
SB 656 also lowers the age to obtain a concealed carry permit from 21 to 19. And it prohibits law-enforcement officers from detaining or disarming citizens unless there is “reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity.” Put simply, there will be no New York City-style “stop and frisk” incidents in the Show-Me State.
It also bars healthcare professionals from asking their patients whether “he or she owns or has access to a firearm,” and from documenting that information in their patients’ medical records or notifying “any governmental entity of the identity of a patient based solely on the patient’s status as a firearms owner or the patient’s access to a firearm.”
Finally, it allows specially trained school employees to carry guns while at work in order to protect students from violent crime.
It was this last provision that provoked most of the governor’s ire when he vetoed the bill back in July, insisting:
Arming teachers will not make our schools safer. I have supported and will continue to support the use of duly authorized law enforcement officers employed as school resource officers, but I cannot condone putting firearms in the hands of educators who would be focused on teaching our kids.
The governor’s statement was obviously crafted for public consumption, as it had little to do with the actual language in the bill that he vetoed.
The new legislation specifically states,
This act allows a school district to designate one or more school teachers or administrators as a school protection officer. School protection officers are authorized to carry a concealed firearm or self-defense spray device.
This act requires a school board that is seeking to designate a school protection officer to hold a public hearing on the matter.… Those seeking to be designated as school protection officers must make a request in writing to the superintendent of the school district along with proof of ownership of a valid concealed carry … permit, and a certificate of completion of a school protection officer training program.
In other words, the new law merely allows school districts to exercise, for the first time, common sense regarding the arming of teachers or administrators. It does not mandate that every teacher and administrator carry a gun.