Missouri Legislators Override Governor's Veto of Pro-Gun Bill

By Visitjeffersoncity (Own work)

On September 14, 2016, the Missouri Legislature reconvened for its “Veto Session” where both houses considered whether or not to override any vetoes issued by Governor Jay Nixon this past legislative session.

Of importance to gun owners in particular, is Senate Bill 656, the omnibus firearms measure that made numerous reforms to existing gun laws.  Gov. Nixon vetoed the bill June 27th.

As we have previously reported, SB 656 would allow a Missouri resident who meets the requirements for a concealed carry permit and pays a $500 fee to receive a concealed carry permit that is valid for the duration of the person’s life. It also provides the option for a ten-year extended concealed carry permit for $200 or a twenty-five year extended permit for $250. To renew an extended permit, the permit holder must pay $50. The lifetime and extended permits are only valid throughout the state of Missouri.

U.S. Law Shield of Missouri Independent Program Attorney Deborah Alessi
U.S. Law Shield of Missouri Independent Program Attorney Deborah Alessi

We are pleased to report that the Legislature made good on its promise to override the Governor’s veto of this important piece of legislation that affects law abiding gun owners across the State.  By a vote of 24-6 in the Senate and 112-41 in the House, the Missouri Legislature took the bold step of overriding the veto in spite of mounting pressure from outside anti-gun advocacy groups, like Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety.

Bloomberg’s group had invaded the State with ad campaigns and marketing efforts in anticipation of this crucial showdown pitting the Second Amendment and your rights as gun owners against those that advocate restricting or even eliminating those rights.  Their campaigns relied upon misstatement of facts and misinformation to influence the public and therefore their elected officials to allow the veto to stand.

It didn’t work and SB 656 will now become the law.

According to U.S. Law Shield Independent Firearms Program Attorney Deborah Alessi. “The bill now becomes law and will also authorize permitless carry, thereby allowing allow a gun owner to carry a concealed gun wherever open carry is allowed, making a concealed-carry permit unnecessary within Missouri.”

“However,” Alessi adds, “those who still wish to avail themselves of the reciprocity agreements with other states will still need to obtain a concealed-carry permit.”

The new law also includes an expansion of Missouri’s self-defense laws by allowing a person to use deadly force in public places if they believe a reasonable threat exists.

The law expands Missouri’s Castle Doctrine protections. Under previous law, a person who owned or leased private property could use deadly force in self-defense or defense of others against a person who unlawfully entered or attempted to unlawfully enter the property.

“Now, the law provides that deadly force may also be used by any person who occupies private property with the permission of the property owner, like babysitters, or guests, for example,” says Alessi.

In addition, the measure establishes Missouri as a “stand your ground” state. Previous to this new law, a person did have a duty to retreat from a dwelling, residence, or vehicle they owned or were lawfully occupying.

Alessi added, “This new law provides that a person does not have a duty to retreat from any place before exercising deadly force in self-defense, no matter where they are, so long as they are not engaged in an unlawful activity and have a right to be there.”

The voice of the people was heard.