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Gun Rights

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Attorney General Chris Koster has warned lawmakers that he would “emphatically distance his office” from defending aspects of the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which seeks to "nullify" federal gun laws and bar federal agents from enforcing them.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Gov. Jay Nixon used his veto pen more than ever this year. But he wants legislators to know he didn't do it to hurt their feelings.

Gov. Jay Nixon responds to a question about his pace of vetoing legislation at a bill signing in St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has dispatched two more gun-related bills – vetoing one and signing the other – as he continues what could be a record-setting string of vetoes since he took office.

But in these two cases, the governor on Friday made a point of citing his own gun-toting practices and his love of hunting (especially deer and doves).

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

Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have blocked Missouri officials from enforcing federal gun laws, saying it would violate the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.

(via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Will be updated.

The Illinois House has approved a plan to allow qualified gun owners to carry their weapons in public.

The proposal adopted Friday was brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan, but it's opposed by several of his fellow Democrats, including the governor.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office has called the plan a "massive overreach" because it would wipe out all local gun regulations, including Chicago's ban on assault-style weapons. That's a deal-breaker for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who backs tough restrictions to curb the city's gun violence.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When state Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick tweeted earlier this month that this year’s veto session would be “interesting,” he may have made the understatement of the year.

The Shell Knob Republican’s quip was a more than tacit acknowledgement that the Missouri General Assembly sent numerous bills to Gov. Jay Nixon that might not meet his favor, including legislation restricting deduction of union dues to a broad-based tax cut.

Speaker Tim Jones and Majority Leader John Diehl confer during session's final hours
Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With the exception of its laser focus on gun rights, the 97th session of the Missouri General Assembly that ended at 6 p.m. Friday pretty much reflected the recent tradition:

The Republican majority portrayed it an “immense success,’’ the Democrats called it an extremist failure and Gov. Jay Nixon declined to say.

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

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Jefferson County’s veteran Sheriff Glenn Boyer is among a group of law-enforcement experts tapped by Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones to serve on “an independent, bipartisan investigative committee” to delve into the continued controversy over the state Department of Revenue’s handling of such documents as concealed-carry permits and birth certificates.

At a news conference today in the state Capitol, the speaker said his aim is “to determine the extent of the scandal, find those responsible, and make sure they are held accountable.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: With time ticking on a number of key issues, including the state budget, the Missouri House returned on Tuesday to one of its favorite topics this session: guns.

The chamber acted to approve several bills or amendments dealing with firearms, including measures that:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – In a severe blow to efforts to tighten the nation’s gun control laws, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday failed to advance a bipartisan compromise on background checks that had been regarded as key to passing a wider gun bill. Proposals to ban assault weapons and limit the size of ammunition magazines also were defeated.

With Vice President Joe Biden in the chair, the Senate’s 54-46 vote in favor of the background check amendment – sponsored by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and three others – fell short of the 60 votes needed. (This Washington Post article explains why 60 votes were required.)

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:I am writing regarding the National Rifle Association’s position on several firearms-related proposals under consideration in the Senate.

S. 649, the “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013,” introduced on March 21, contains a number of provisions that would unfairly infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. This legislation would criminalize the private transfer of firearms by honest citizens, requiring friends, neighbors and many family members to get government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. The NRA is unequivocally opposed to S. 649.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Updated 04.11.13 - On Thursday, the Senate voted 68 - 31 to rebuff initial delaying tactics and clear the way for debate on the gun legislation. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., voted against moving forward. Voting with the majority were U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill. 

Original article WASHINGTON – A bipartisan proposal on the thorny issue of background checks – proposed by four senators, including U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. – may help pave the way for votes on the first major gun legislation in a decade.

(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.

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

 (Updated story)

A Missouri Senate Committee has unanimously passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand the State Constitution’s right to bear arms.

Supreme Court upholds individual right to keep a gun

Jun 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 26, 2008 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the first time in history that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep a handgun in the home for self-protection. Through much of the 20th century, the Second Amendment had been viewed by the courts as protecting a collective right necessary to running state militias.