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Concealed Weapons Vote Pushed

April 10, 1996
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Despite opposition from the NRA, an southeastern Missouri lawmaker urged the House Judiciary Committee to approve a measure that would let Missourians decide if there should be a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons.

Heard Tuesday night (April 9) by the committee was a proposed constitutional amendment that would require statewide voter approval to take effect.

The proposed amendment would exempt convicted felons from the concealed-weapons right. The legislature would be responsible for setting other requirements for a concealed-weapons permit - such as safety training.

"Send the resolution to a vote of the people. It's a straight up question -- either yes or no," said Rep. Wayne Crump, D-Potosi.

But the NRA asked the resolution's sponsor to withdrawal the amendment because a statewide campaign would be too costly.

Earlier this session, Senate defeated a similar concealed-weapons proposal. Efforts to revive the Senate bill were dropped after NRA announced opposition to a voter-approval provision in the bill.

The voter-approval amendment had been proposed as a way to get the bill around Gov. Mel Carnahan who has said he would veto a concealed-weapons bill.

Legislation submitted to the voters is not subject to approval or veto by the governor.

Crump, who was a deputy sheriff, said he thought guns in the hands of responsible citizens would have no major effect on crime. "A hand gun in the hands of a law abiding citizen will help stop those who aren't," he said.

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