Missouri Legislature Fails to Override Veto of Controversial Gun Bill

Missouri Legislature Fails to Override Veto of Controversial Gun Bill

Supporters of legislation to nullify federal gun laws fail to override Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's veto, by a single vote.
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) It was one of the more controversial bills to come out of the Missouri legislature this year.

It was a bill that would essentially nullify any federal laws on firearms.

It was Missouri House Bill 436.

"This bill does not eliminate our ability to put reasonable regulations in place. It does prevent the federal government from imposing unconstitutional infringements on Missourians of their Second Amendment rights," said Republican State Representative Doug Funderburk, the lead sponsor of HB 436.

The bill would have made it illegal for federal agents to enforce laws aimed at gun control.

And it would have made it illegal to publish the names and addresses of gun owners in the state.

"[That would basically be] putting a sign on Missouri that says 'Okay criminals!  It's okay to go to Missouri!  We won't prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, like Illinois, like Kansas, like Arkansas or any other state in the union,'" said Sam Dotson, Police Chief from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

It was passed by both the State House and Senate in May.

But Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill in July.

Said the Governor: "My grounds for vetoing the bill have always been the same.  It's unconstitutional, it's unsafe, and it's unnecessary."

Supporters of the bill - many of them Republicans - vowed to override the governor's veto.

That vote, which happened Wednesday, passed in the State House of Representatives.

Local state Representatives Delus Johnson and Casey Guernsey voted yes for the bill at both sessions.

Republican Galen Higdon voted yes in May and then present this time, a vote that is neither a yes nor a no.

Democrat Pat Conway voted yes in May and then changed his vote to no this time around.

In a phone interview Rep. Conway explained that change of heart:

"The Sheriff's Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police, and other law enforcement agencies had come to the legislature and said that they could not support the bill as it was written.  So that probably I think had the most impact," Rep. Conway said.

The veto override ultimately failed in the State Senate.  By one vote.

State Senator Rob Schaaf votes yes during both sessions.

Some Missouri House reps are determined to get another similar bill drafted.

Republican Representative Brian Nieves has said "The fight ain't over. We'll be back to visit it again and again."

Representative Conway says he expects an updated version of this bill to be on the floor by January, 2014.

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