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Lobbyist Money Help  

Concealed Weapons Money

March 31, 1999
By: Melissa Miller
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Out-of-state money dominates in campaigning for concealed weapons according to finance disclosure reports filed at the end of the day Tuesday.

The seven-day reports also show concealed weapons supporters are out-spending their opponents by a margin of nearly three-to-one.

Prop. B proponents Missourians Against Crime take the lead in campaign finances with more than $2.25 million in contributions reported to the Ethics Commission Tuesday.

Opponents, on the other hand, reported less than $766,000 in finances.

The National Rifle Association -- based in Fairfax, Va. -- stands out as the big contributor.

The NRA contributed $2.08 million to the campaign in support of Prop. B. Another $42,263 came from Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms from Bellevue, Wash.

The rest of the $2.25 million came from independent contributors in small sums of $50 or $100.

Amy Pennington, spokesperson for Missourians Against Crime said she did not know enough about the finance documents to comment specifically on them.

"We've been getting numerous checks in mail everyday from grassroots supporters across Missouri," Pennington said.

The opposition group -- Safe Schools and Workplaces Committee -- reported it had received $765,878. Handgun Control Inc. , Washington DC interest group contributed $141,504. Kansas City based Hallmark, Southwestern Bell, and St. Louis area hospitals also gave large donations.

"There is never enough money, absolutely not," said Lawren Massey, spokesperson for Safe Schools and Workplaces. "We've done remarkable well considering our just group came together in December."

A third group with a grassroots base in Mid Missouri is the Hallsville-headquartered Missourians for Personal Safety. They have received $27,393 in donations, the largest a $4,000 contribution from Western Shooters Alliance, from Kansas City. The majority of their donations have come from local gun retailers or sportsmen's associations.

Most of this money is being used for a media buy -- advertisements, bumper stickers, billboards and yard signs. All this money means campaigners will get what they pay for.