Gun-Control Groups Lobbying to Block Veto Override of Concealed Carry in Missouri

Missouri House and Senate Republicans knew Gov. Jay Nixon (D) was going to veto concealed-carry measure SB 656, but since they had passed it by a veto-proof margin in June, they figured, why worry?

Becky Morgan, the volunteer leader of the Missouri Chapter of Moms Demanding Action, wants to be the cause of concern the GOP didn’t see coming, but should have.

“It defies common sense to dismantle our concealed-carry laws and make it easier for dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns – yet our lawmakers seem determined to ignore their constituents’ wishes,” she said when the measure came up for debate last spring.

Despite Morgan’s best efforts, House Speaker Todd Richardson (R) and Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R) promised a successful override vote as soon as Nixon vetoed the bill in June.

The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action, which is backed by Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, along with the Catholic Bishops of Missouri and the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, are doing their best to convince at least a couple of the GOP General Assembly members to switch their votes.

The Missouri Times reported that the pro-gun control groups have to flip two Republican votes in the Senate and nine in the House, and Nixon’s veto will stand.

The showdown is scheduled for Sept. 14 in the Missouri General Assembly. The Senate votes first. If the veto override passes, it goes on to the House.

SB 656 would allow Missouri adults to carry concealed weapons without training or permits. It also contains a “stand your ground” provision, which has not received as much attention as the idea of hundreds, if not thousands, of people walking around Missouri fully locked and loaded.

“I cannot support a system that would ignore a determination by the chief law enforcement officer of a county that an individual is a danger to the community and should not be authorized to carry a concealed firearm,” Nixon wrote in his veto message.

A Kansas City Star editorial referred to Nixon’s SB 656 veto as “brave,” and encouraged gun control groups to “target specific lawmakers who might listen to reason.”

To that end, Moms Demand Action released a Survey USA poll, commissioned by Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, Aug. 31 that showed 85 percent of likely voters in Missouri Senate District 17 supported requiring all gun buyers to pass a criminal background check. It also showed 91 percent support for requiring permits to carry concealed handguns.

Why focus on one Senate district instead of the entire state?

Simply because Republican Sen. Ryan Silvey represents the district. He is considered a moderate, and is running for re-election in November.

Silvey voted for SB 656. But could he be flippable?