OZARK, Mo. – Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder joined a Springfield representative in the Ozarks Friday to throw his name behind a bill to ease Missouri’s concealed-carry rules.
Senate Bill 656 would allow anyone who could legally own a gun to carry it concealed without a permit.
The bill would also expand Missouri’s castle doctrine, which allows guests on private property to act in self defense. It also would make Missouri a “stand your ground” state, removing your duty to retreat from a situation before acting in self defense.
Kinder and an architect of the proposal, Rep. Eric Burlison, call this proposal constitutional carry, because they said they believe Missouri’s current permitting process works more like a government granted privilege than a right.
This week a South Carolina man with a concealed carry permit shot a man who had opened fire on a crowd in a Spartanburg-area nightclub, and no lives were lost.
Kinder and Burlison said they believe if a concealed carry permit holder had been in Pulse nightclub on that deadly evening in Orlando, perhaps some of that attack may have been thwarted.
Currently, people who want to get a concealed-carry permit in Missouri must pass an 8-hour safety course, pay $100 and get approval from their county sheriff.
Kinder and Burlison said they see no point in putting this burden on law abiding citizens when criminals will always go through great lengths to access firearms.
"There was a shooting of a Cardinal fan who had attended the ballgame, after the ballgame 10:30 or 11 at night, over by the arch about a year ago,” Kinder said. “That guy was put in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. Now, people see incidents like that. They read about them in the newspapers and they see them on TV, and they want the natural right to self-defense."
When Nixon vetoed the bill, he noted he has signed several bills into law during his term to expand concealed carry, including a bill to make permits valid for five years instead of three.
Nixon said this particular proposal goes too far and restricts the ability of sheriffs to use discretion in who should have access to weapons.