Yesterday, the Missouri House of Representatives passed Senate Joint Resolution 36 by an overwhelming 122 to 31 vote. Sponsored by state Senator Kurt Shaefer (R-19) and handled in the House by state Representative John Diehl (R-89), SJR 36 would strengthen Missouri’s current right to keep and bear arms constitutional amendment, Section 23, Article I. SJR 36 would remove language stating, “but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons,” and insert language to strengthen the constitutional amendment to ensure the strongest possible protection against any proposed restrictions to your fundamental rights. SJR 36 now returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote that will take place either today or tomorrow. It is imperative that you contact your state Senator immediately and respectfully urge him to vote “YES” on SJR 36. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.
Two other bills are currently awaiting action in the Missouri House: Senate Bill 745 and Senate Bill 656. Sponsored by state Senator Brian Munzlinger (R-18) and being handled in the House by state Representative Jay Houghton (R-43), SB 745 includes improved right to carry language and technical corrections related to the 2013 transition of the concealed carry permit issuance process to the sheriffs. This language is a much-needed improvement in finalizing the transfer of the concealed permit process to the sheriffs. As you may recall, the permitting process was transferred to sheriffs last year after it was reported that the state Department of Revenue had shared personal information of Missouri permit holders.
Multiple pro-gun amendments have been added to SB 745. Those amendments include language that would modify the current concealed carry training requirement, which requires an individual to shoot both a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol, and would instead allow someone to shoot only one firearm rather than both firearms. Other language states that there shall be no more than forty students per qualified firearms safety instructor during the classroom portion of a firearms safety training course. Current Missouri law only allows forty students per classroom, regardless of whether or not there is more than one instructor present.
Also pending action in the House is SB 656. Sponsored by state Senator Will Kraus (R-8) and being handled by state Representative Kevin Elmer (R-139), SB 656 includes multiple pro-gun reforms. SB 656 addresses the following issues:
- Allows the open carry of firearms in all localities with a permit. Some localities currently have ordinances that ban the open carrying of firearms, even those with a valid carry permit
- Allows a school district to designate a teacher or administrator to qualify as a school protection officer and carry a firearm on school property with the proper training
- States that no law shall require health care professionals to inquire about a patient’s ownership or possession of firearms and prohibits the documentation of such information into a database
- Lowers the age from 21 to 19 for those wishing to apply for a concealed carry permit
- Allows someone to qualify for a concealed carry permit using a revolver or semi-automatic pistol, rather than having to qualify with each firearm
- Requires one instructor for every forty people for the classroom portion of a firearms safety training course. Current law allows only forty people per classroom regardless of the number of instructors present.
- Specifies that no public housing authority shall prohibit a lessee or a member of the lessee’s immediate household or guest from personally possessing firearms within an individual residence, common areas, or from carrying or transporting firearms to and from such residence in a manner allowed by law.
SB 745 and SB 656 could come to the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives at anytime. Please contact your state Representative today and respectfully urge him or her to vote “YES” on SB 745 and SB 656. Contact information for your state Representative can be found here.