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Missouri Governor Signs Castle Doctrine, Hunting Preservation Bills into Law

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Fairfax, VA— Fairfax, VA- In a fly-around tour across Missouri today, the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox joined Governor Matt Blunt at bill signing ceremonies for two of NRA’s top legislative priorities. SB 62, Missouri’s “Castle Doctrine” bill, removes the ‘duty to retreat’ for victims of criminal attack, while SB 225, the “Hunting Heritage Protection Areas Act”, preserves important wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities for future Missouri generations.

“I can’t think of a better early celebration of the 4th of July than by the signing into law of two important bills that reaffirm freedom,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist.

“Today Missouri joins a group of 18 other ‘Castle Doctrine’ states, guaranteeing a victim’s right to protect themselves against a criminal attack.” Cox stated, “When you’re confronted by a criminal, you don’t have the luxury of time. This bill states that if victims choose to stand their ground and fight, their decision will not be second-guessed by the State of Missouri. The ability to protect yourself, your children, or your spouse from harm is critical, whether you're in your home or outside.”

“Americans maintain a deep reverence for their Second Amendment rights. This legislation is an extension of those rights. It ensures law-abiding Missourians will not be punished when they use force to defend themselves and their family from attacks in their own home or vehicle,” Gov. Blunt said. “I commend the General Assembly for supporting and passing this important law for Missouri families.”

Governor Blunt and Chris Cox traveled to Joplin, Kirksville and Cape Girardeau to celebrate the signing of the “Castle Doctrine” bill. They visited St. Louis for the signing of the “Hunting Heritage Protection Areas Act”.

Cox continued, “Missouri also provides some of the richest and most pristine wildlife habitats in the world. Hunters here continue to be leaders in ensuring sound wildlife management and conservation practices. The ‘Hunting Heritage Protection Areas Act’ will protect these diverse lands critical for wildlife species and preserve hunting opportunities into the future.”

In a historic set of votes, the “Hunting Heritage Protection Areas Act” passed unanimously out of both chambers of the General Assembly. Senate Bill 225 passed the State Senate, 32-0, and 158-0 in the State House.

“On behalf of Missouri NRA members, hunters and residents, I want to thank Governor Blunt for signing the ‘Castle Doctrine’ and ‘Hunting Heritage Protection’ bills into law,” concluded Cox. “Missourians are fortunate to have a Governor and state legislators who respect and cherish their Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage."

-NRA-

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.