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Gun Control

By a vote of 118-40, the Missouri House has overwhelmingly approved a bill that bars state agencies from scanning or retaining any personal documents, such as a birth certificate, that are presented to obtain a driver’s license or nondriver ID.

A Younger Look At The Gun Debate

May 13, 2013
Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio

Few things are more polarizing in American culture than guns. There is no scarcity of opinions on the issue, but a voice that we have perhaps not heard is that of a younger generation, specifically those who are 18 to 29 years old. They fall under the millennial generation, and will make up the future of gun ownership. So, what do they think? St. Louis Public Radio’s Sean Sandefur reports.

Guns Evoke Many Emotions

Blunt, McCaskill At Odds Over Background Check Bill

Apr 10, 2013
Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Missouri’s U.S. Senators are divided on a bill that would expand background checks to more gun buyers. Republican Blunt has indicated that he does not support the bill, while Democrat Claire McCaskill says she will.

On a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, McCaskill said Congress needs to do something to try to prevent mass shootings.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With speeches, ads and new vote ratings, advocates of new laws to stem gun violence are trying to turn up the pressure this week on GOP lawmakers who are trying to block action on gun control.

On Tuesday, Mayors Against Illegal Guns – a group backed by funding from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – put congressional offices on notice that it would start issuing a “scorecard, assigning members a letter grade on their gun policy records.”

Quinn Goes To Church To Call For Ill. Gun Regulations

Apr 8, 2013

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn took his call for new state gun regulations to the church pulpit.

Quinn has been talking to church-goers about how to reduce gun violence in Chicago.

At Saint Sabina's Sunday on the city's South Side - Quinn invoked the Bible in talking about proposals like expanding background checks and banning certain guns.

"We're not going to stand by and let children and others be killed," Quinn said. "No no no. We're going to listen to what Paul said: Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails."

Understanding causes, searching for cures to gun violence

Apr 5, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dear Beaconites --

In the long-running debate over gun rights and gun control, both sides use statistics as -- well -- ammunition. The latest volley came this week from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that evaluated states on several measures, including the rate of gun deaths and the strength of gun control laws. As Beacon Washington correspondent Rob Koenig reported, the study ranks Missouri 8th worst overall; Illinois came in 36th.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – Missouri ranks among the worst 10 states with “the highest levels of gun violence” in recent years while its gun-control laws are relatively lax, a new study of gun violence indicators says.

The report by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank found a rough correlation between high levels of gun violence and weak state gun laws. But gun rights and libertarian groups criticized the report’s methodology as biased.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

From a podium at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis, Democratic Mo. State Rep. Stacey Newman asked a crowd of gun-control supporters to hold up their phones and punch in a new contact, the switchboard for the U.S. Senate.

She told them to call every day, ask for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and demand that they vote in favor of universal background checks for gun sales.

Facing June Deadline, Ill. No Closer To Concealed Carry Law

Mar 26, 2013
(via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Groups on both sides of the concealed carry debate in Illinois say the state is no closer to crafting a court-ordered law than they were the first day of this legislative session.

Richard Pearson is executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. He says lawmakers are sidelining the plan by bypassing the usual committee process:

"We've had committee meetings from one end of the state to the other, and out of this we have gotten nothing," Pearson said.

(via Flickr/kcdsTM)

The city council in a St. Louis area town is considering a bill that would declare any federal, state or local laws prohibiting guns to be in violation of the U.S. and Missouri constitutions, rendering them invalid in the town.
The measure has been proposed in O'Fallon. The Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis reports it could be the subject of a vote on March 28.

Commentary: Gun regulation is a battle worth joining

Mar 13, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: “It’s an uphill battle. It’ll never pass.” That’s what is being said about legislation that would ban military style assault weapons. Yet, as I listened to the testimony of Neil Heslin whose 6-year-old son was one of 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I can’t accept this conventional wisdom.

Sandy Hook is a turning point. Too many lives have been taken by gunmen using weapons whose only purpose is to kill many people in mere minutes. Newtown is not going to “blow over” as the NRA has stated.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – After nearly three months of debate following the mass shooting of 20 first graders at a Connecticut school, Congress on Thursday began the legislative process of determining which initiatives are politically feasible in the effort to deter gun violence.

At a markup session of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and other senators discussed separate bills that would: ban assault weapons; require criminal and mental-health background checks of all gun buyers; crack down on illegal gun trafficking; and provide help to bolster school security.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: I am a gun owner, an avid duck hunter and am working hard to pass that passion to my grandchildren. My eldest grandson is a solid convert, and I am proud to say that for the past three years the only thing he wanted for Xmas was a plane ticket to come duck hunting with me.

This year, we went to our local sporting goods store to renew his permit, which is required to hunt waterfowl and small game in Missouri. Hunters have to have federal game stamps but there is no federal firearm stamp.

Enforcing New Federal Gun Regulations Could Be A Crime Under New Bill

Feb 26, 2013
A gun show in Houston, Texas, in 2007.
M Glasgow | Flickr

Enforcing new federal gun regulations could send Missouri officers to prison under a bill endorsed by a Missouri House committee.

The committee voted 9-5 on Tuesday to advance the bill that would criminalize the enforcement of federal gun control laws enacted after Jan. 1 of this year. The vote was along party lines with Republicans supporting the bill and Democrats in opposition.

The panel also advanced a bill barring federal regulation of guns that are manufactured in Missouri and remain inside the state's borders.

Mo. House Bill Makes Proposing Gun Control Legislation A Felony Offense

Feb 19, 2013
(Rep. Leara's campaign site)

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.

A gun show in Houston, Texas, in 2007.
M Glasgow | Flickr

During his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama emphasized the need for more background checks for gun buyers, saying that that the majority of Americans favor the proposal as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

President Obama Reveals Plan To Reduce Gun Violence

Jan 16, 2013
(White House video screen capture)

Updated 11:18 a.m. Thank you for joining us earlier for this live event. It has now concluded.

President Obama revealed a multiple-part plan to reduce gun violence today. 

NPR's The Two-Way reports on the details. What do you think about the plan? 

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri legislature convenes this Wednesday.

The hallmark issue may be Medicaid expansion.  Topics of tax credits and arming classroom teachers are also expected to come up for debate.

Host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Beacon political reporter Jo Mannies, and University of Missouri – St. Louis political science professor Terry Jones about the upcoming session.

A gun show in Houston, Texas, in 2007.
M Glasgow | Flickr

A St. Louis County lawmaker plans to file legislation that would require background checks on anyone who buys a firearm at a gun show.

State Representative Stacey Newman (D, Richmond Heights) says her proposal would close the so-called “gun show loophole” in Missouri.

“Right now, federal background checks are only done through licensed dealers," Newman said.  "That exempts gun shows where people can purchase unlimited amounts of weapons, including assault weapons.”

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) is voicing opposition to House Republicans’ plans to allow teachers in Missouri to carry guns in classrooms.

In a letter to the state’s public school superintendents, Nixon says the proposal would put children at risk and take away the authority of local school districts to keep guns out of classrooms.  Scott Holste is the governor’s Press Secretary.