Missouri became the latest state to enact Constitutional Carry after the Legislature voted Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 656.
Senate Bill 656 contains all sorts of goodies for law-abiding citizens. In a nutshell, here are some of the main highlights:
- Allows Missourians to carry a concealed weapon without training or a permit in areas that do not prohibit open carry.
- Expands Missouri’s “castle doctrine” to allow invited guests (such as babysitters) to use deadly force against intruders.
- Creates a “stand-your-ground” statute, which removes an individual’s duty to retreat from danger in any place they are legally entitled to be present.
It should be noted that Senate Bill 656 does not completely eliminate Missouri’s concealed carry permit program. Residents may still want to obtain a permit for reciprocity purposes when traveling into other states that honor the Missouri CCW permits.
As the NRA-ILA noted, SB 656 does modify the CCW system in that it caps the state fee at $100 to process permits, allows members of the military extra time to renew their permits and adds additional permit options to include extended and lifetime permits. So, for the cost of $100, presumably one can get a lifetime permit to carry in the state of Missouri.
“This is a great day for freedom in Missouri. The legislature stood strong for the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens by overriding Gov. Nixon’s misguided veto,” said Chris W. Cox, Executive Director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg and out-of-state gun control groups to defeat the override vote, their agenda was rejected.”
Nixon vetoed the bill earlier this summer because he claimed it would allow “individuals to legally carry a concealed firearm even though they have been or would be denied a permit because their background check revealed criminal offenses or caused the sheriff to believe they posed a danger.”
However, a close reading of Nixon’s objection shows that it makes zero sense. If an individual is a convicted felon, he couldn’t lawfully possess let alone carry a firearm. So, the law wouldn’t allow a prohibited person to “legally carry” a firearm. Rather, it simply allows non-prohibited persons, aka, law-abiding citizens, to carry concealed in any place that they could already carry openly.
The Senate voted to override the Nixon’s veto on a party-line vote of 24-6. The House cleared the bill by a vote of 112-41.
As one might expect, gun-control organization were less than pleased with the news of the override. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg via his gun-control outfit, Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action spent time and money on a campaign designed to kill SB 656. Clearly, it failed.
“Missouri lawmakers buckled to the NRA instead of listening to the vast majority of Missouri voters, including mayors and law enforcement leaders, who support our current concealed carry permit system,” said Becky Morgan, a member of Moms Demand Action in a statement. “And in doing so, they made our state the first new Stand Your Ground state since the death of Trayvon Martin.”
The truth is Missouri lawmakers didn’t buckle to the NRA, they buckled to common sense and the Constitution. See, crime has a tendency to go down when more Americans exercise their right to keep and bear arms. So, why not embrace a more purist (and historically accurate) reading of the Second Amendment (It says, Shall Not Be Infringed! And what is a fee but an infringement, a way to chill a right) and make it easier for responsible folks to carry and defend themselves in public? That is the impetus behind the support of SB 656.