Tue February 19, 2013
Mo. House Bill Makes Proposing Gun Control Legislation A Felony Offense
Updated at 2:00 p.m. with quotes from State Reps. Mike Leara (R) and Stacey Newman (D).
Lawmakers proposing gun control legislation could end up in prison under a bill introduced by a Missouri House Republican.
Rep. Mike Leara, of St. Louis County, said Tuesday that he has no illusions that his bill actually will pass and become law.
“We have legislators, both in Washington DC and in Missouri, constantly attacking our constitutional rights under the 2nd Amendment," Leara said. "I just felt it was time to give a little bit of pushback and make a statement that we’re not gonna take this anymore."
Leara also issued the following written statement:
“I filed HB 633 as a matter of principle and as a statement in defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Missourians. I have no illusions about the bill making it through the legislative process, but I want it to be clear that the Missouri House will stand in defense of the people’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms."
The legislation filed Monday would make members of the Missouri General Assembly guilty of a felony if they introduce legislation restricting gun rights. If convicted, lawmakers could serve prison terms of up to four years.
Leara's measure is the latest in a series of strident gun proposals in Missouri. It comes after a Democratic lawmaker proposed outlawing all assault weapons.
Rep. Eric Burlison of Greene County featured the assault weapons ban legislation in a recent web video in which he takes the bill to a gun range. Eventually the bill is shot and Burlison, a Republican, jokes that "it does make for a good bill."
The legislation that would control gun control legislation has been making the rounds on Twitter and prominent liberal outlets like Talking Points Memo and Think Progress. And State Rep. Stacey Newman (D, Richmond Heights), who proposed the assault weapons ban bill that was shot in Burlison's video, tweeted about the bill.
— Rep. Stacey Newman (@staceynewman) February 19, 2013
Newman also told St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin that Leara's bill makes Missouri a "laughingstock."
“Things like this, they also put an emphasis on Missouri in terms of we’re the comical state, we’re the state that doesn’t take our legislation and our process seriously," Newman said. "We’ve seen several of our legislation on comedy shows like The Daily Show.”
You can read Leara's legislation below.
Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter: @csmcdaniel