In a nail-biter that ended Wednesday night at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, the attempt to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that was aimed at nullifying some the federal gun laws lost by one vote. The override of House Bill 436 passed in the House of Representatives (109-49) but failed in the Senate by one vote short of the two-thirds majority required (22-12).
The bill, controversial from the beginning, would have made it a misdemeanor with up to a $1,000 fine for journalists to publish names of anyone, including criminals, who carried guns. It would have lowered the gun permit from 21 to 19 years of age, and would have allowed guns to be carried openly in public. It would also have allowed teachers, with proper training, to have guns in schools.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence had already vowed to sue state legislators if the bill was passed. The Missouri Press Association had voted last week to go to court regarding the bill’s constitutionality. The board believed that it was in opposition to freedom of speech as outlined in Article I, Section 8, of the Missouri Constitution and in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The bill ignited strong feelings on both sides when it was first presented in the House in February of this year. The Senate approved the bill, after adding revisions in early May, and sent it back to the House. A week later, it was passed in the House. Missouri’s governor had the option to either sign it or veto it. The first week of July, Governor Nixon vetoed it.
The regular session for the House and Senate begins in January and runs through mid-May. There is always a special session in September for them to vote on which of the governor’s vetoes to override. This bill that aimed to nullify federal gun laws was included in Wednesday’s session.
For more information about the progression and controversy of this bill, please refer to the articles listed below.
Written by: Cynthia Collins
Missouri Veto Session Roundup