Missouri Republicans engaged in some legislative jujitsu yesterday, using a parliamentary maneuver to stop a Democrat filibuster and force a vote to override Democrat Governor Jay Nixon’s veto on a gun bill.
The maneuver, known as “calling the previous question,” was once rarely used — only five times in the Senate from 1970 to 2001, when Republicans captured the majority. But it’s now been used five times since 2014, including three times this year.
After shutting down debate Wednesday, the Senate voted to override the governor’s veto on a 24-6 party line vote. The bill moved to the House, where it was quickly approved 112-41.
It becomes law in 30 days.
On the final day of the legislative session in 2016, legislators approved a bill that would allow a person to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Previously, a Missouri resident could carry a gun by passing a criminal background check and taking a gun-safety class.
The anti-gun Nixon said the bill 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.”
Do those requirements stop a criminal from concealing a firearm? No.
The NRA said the bill “seeks to expand the fundamental right to self-defense of Missourians and strengthen their ability to protect themselves and their families.”
GOP Rep. Kevin Engler said the gun controllers have repeatedly predicted deadly consequences on all the gun legislation ever passed in Missouri.
“This bill will not do the crazy things that are being said,” he said.
In addition to loosening restrictions on concealed carry, the bill reduces the penalty for carrying a firearm into prohibited buildings from a felony to a misdemeanor, and also implements a “stand your ground” law. Missouri residents will no longer be obligated to retreat before using deadly force if they perceive their life is in danger.
Great work, Missouri GOP!