The Missouri House of Representatives passed the controversial gun rights bill known as the “Second Amendment Preservation Act.” The vote on Wednesday was 118-36. The bill was sent to Governor Jay Nixon (Democrat) for signature.
The final bill is 26 pages long and includes the amendments added by the Missouri Senate last week. Both House and Senate have a Republican majority. If the governor signs it, federal gun laws will become unenforceable, the minimum age to obtain a concealed weapons permit will be lowered from 21 to 19, designated personnel will be allowed to carry guns in schools, and people with a weapons permit will be allowed to openly carry a gun providing it is less than 16 inches long.
Those voting in favor of this bill see it as protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners while also including several pages dealing with theft and what constitutes illegal use of guns. Those who opposed the bill say it does not address gun violence in cities and would create easier access to guns making schools and communities less safe. The metropolitan areas of Kansas City and St. Louis each have a population of over 2 million.
Whether or not Governor Nixon signs this bill remains to be seen. But, whatever his decision, the bill has taken a stand either way, for or against, to send a message to the federal government.
Written by: Cynthia Collins, Guardian Correspondent