Missouri Republicans are celebrating a victory after the state Senate and House overturned Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a pro-gun bill.
SB 656, sponsored by state Sen. Will Kraus, loosens gun-control restrictions and gives more power to gun owners with concealed-carry permits, KMOV reported.
A key provision of the bill provides for extensive training programs for schools that want to arm school staffers. The bill passed by both houses of the state Legislature by overwhelming margins earlier this year, and some Missouri schools had already started the process to train teachers as “school protection officers.”
But Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the bill in July, prompting Republican outrage and frustration.
“This measure would have left the choice for voluntary training at the local level,” Kraus said in a July statement, according to Guns.com. “It would have been a decision made between the local school board and individual staff members. Currently, school districts can allow staff with a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school property. This measure would have simply allowed for staff to undergo more extensive training. The bill was crafted by the Legislature to increase school security options. I am disappointed this governor, who was all but absent during the process, has chosen to veto a bill designed to protect our children.”
On Thursday, Missouri lawmakers in both the House and Senate overrode the veto with the required two-thirds majority votes.
The measure, which will take effect next month, will lower the legal age for concealed-weapons permit holders from 21 to 19 years old. It will also allow permit holders to open carry without being questioned and disarmed by authorities, unless an “articulable suspicion of criminal activity” exists, according to the bill summary.
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