On Wednesday, the 2014 legislative session of the Missouri General Assembly convened and with that, multiple pro-gun and pro-hunting bills have already been introduced. Your NRA-ILA will be working with your elected officials during this legislative session to ensure that your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage are preserved. Below are those bills introduced to watch:
SJR 28 – sponsored by state Senator Brian Munzlinger (R-18), is an NRA-backed Right to Hunt and Fish constitutional amendment. State Representative Ron Hicks (R-107) has introduced the same language in the Missouri House of Representatives as HJR 55. The language of this proposed amendment reads as follows:
“That the citizens of this state have a right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife. The control, management, restoration, conservation, and regulation of the bird, fish, game, forestry, and all wildlife resources of the state, and the administration of all laws pertaining thereto, is vested in a conservation commission, as provided in Article IV, Section 40, Constitution of Missouri. No law and no rule or regulation shall unreasonably restrict hunting, fishing, and harvesting wildlife or the use of traditional devices and methods. Laws, rules, and regulations authorized under this section shall have the purpose of wildlife conservation and management and preserving the future of hunting and fishing. Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. This section shall not be construed to modify any provision of common law or statutes relating to trespass or property rights.”
House Bill 1047 – sponsored by state Representative Rocky Miller (R-24), would allow non-resident students attending a college in Missouri to acquire hunting, trapping or fishing licenses at the same price as a resident. At a time when hunter participation has declined, HB 1047 would increase hunting opportunities for those students who may not be able to pay for a non-resident license.
House Bill 1172 – sponsored by state Representative Michael Butler (D-79), erodes one's right to self-defense in his or her own residence. HB 1172 removes the provision which states that a person has no duty to retreat.
Senate Bill 549 – sponsored by state Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-14), requires a parent or guardian to notify a school district, or the governing body of a private or charter school, that he or she owns a firearm within thirty days of enrolling the child in school or becoming the owner of a firearm. This legislation does nothing but require a parent or guardian to reveal private information of gun ownership and would in no way deter crime.
Senate Bill 556 and Senate Bill 565 – sponsored by state Senator Jamilah Nasheed (D-5), would require firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 24 hours to a local law enforcement agency. Failure to report the loss or theft of a firearm is punishable by a fine of $1,000. Any subsequent offense of failing to report as required is a Class A misdemeanor. However, Senate Bill 556 would establish a firearms recovery pilot program. Grants will be distributed to law enforcement agencies under this recovery program to be implemented by the Department of Public Safety. In order to support their participation in this program, these grants would allow for individuals to be given gift certificates to grocery stores in exchange for turning in their firearms. Therefore, hard-earned taxpayer dollars will be used for something that will not decrease crimes as criminals do not participate in “gun buybacks.”
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated throughout the 2014 legislative session when more information is available.