A local police chief speaks against a new Missouri law that gets rid of requirements for concealed carry of guns. Last night, lawmakers voted to over-rule Governor Nixon's veto on a sweeping expansion of the conceal carry law, and the Castle Doctrine.
Several gun violence advocacy groups say they are extremely disappointed, and worried---even more now---about people's safety.
Some state legislators point to how Senate Bill 656, now law, is written.
"The basis of this whole bill is, it allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families," says State Senator Brian Munzlinger, a Republican from Williamstown, Missouri.
Senator Munzlinger sponsored the bill that fellow Republicans say will make the state safer. People will soon be able to conceal a weapon in Missouri without having a conceal carry permit.
"I'm about the biggest Second Amendment guy you can get," says Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan.
But Dagnan says lawmakers who voted in favor of this new law didn't think enough about reality.
Dagnan asks, "We do restrict people's Second Amendment rights, when they start interfering with the rights of others, right?"
Republican lawmakers say the new law frees every law-abiding Missourian to use their constitutional right of self-defense. The new law restricts concealed carry to people not on probation or parole, and non-felons. But Dagnan says these restrictions can't be enforced without a required permit process, a time when law enforcement looks over a person's previous criminal history that may include mental instability.
Dagnan says, though, that above all, gun etiquette and just plain safety, taught in required concealed carry classes, will often times be absent. Dagnan believes law enforcement will be in even more dangerous situations.
"If you stopped a car, and the person says, hey, I've got a gun on my waist band, you could say do you have your concealed carry permit? And if they did, they knew what they were doing, they've been through the classes, they've been authorized. Now, they're not even going to know to tell us they have a gun. That's one of the things you learned in class," says Dagnan.
Nonetheless, Senator Munzlinger and fellow Republicans say states that also have this new type of law have seen murder rates drop by as much as twenty-three percent.
This new concealed carry law goes into effect in 30 days.
Another portion of this new law also specifically states that the Castle Doctrine is being expanded, allowing anyone in a home (even if they're not the home owner) to use deadly force on an intruder if that person believes their life was in danger. However, Dagnan tells us that the current Castle Doctrine already allows this.
Click here to view Senate Bill 656, here to view a notice of opposition to the Bill from the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America organization, and here to view a media release from the Missouri Senate Majority Caucus that supports the passage of Senate Bill 656.
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