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Urban legislators say NRA buying election

March 31, 1999
By: Clayton Bellamy
State Capital Bureau
Links: Proposition B

JEFFERSON CITY - A day after campaign financing was reported on the concealed weapons ballot issue, state legislators accused the NRA of buying the election.

In a press conference at the Missouri Police Chiefs Association headquarters, Rep. Joan Bray, D-St. Louis County, said the large amount of total money raised by Missourians Against Crime contributed by the NRA gives the organization a "controlling interest."

Of the nearly $2.2 million raised by Missourians Against Crime, just over $2 million was contributed by the NRA.

"By April 7, Charlton Heston will be enjoying himself in his pool in Hollywood, while those of us living in Missouri will have to worry about who we see in our banks, near our schools, near our baseball and football games," said Rep. Barbara Fraser, D-St. Louis County, of the NRA president.

All of the legislators attending the Safe Schools and Workplaces Committee-sponsored conference were Democrats -- all from urban areas.

Some of the legislators expressed concern that the NRA is a national organization brandishing influence in Missouri.

"Keep your money in D.C. and leave Missouri alone," Fraser said.

Brett Feinstein, spokesman for Missourians Against Crime, contested both issues raised by the legislators.

"The NRA has 103,000 members in Missouri," he said. "These people all support the issue. They can give their money to us or to the NRA, who can give it to us. There's 103,000 Missourians already here."

As for allowing Republicans into the solely Democrtic meeting, Rep. Larry Crawford, R-Centertown, was not allowed to enter the conference after telling a representative of the committee he supported Proposition B.

"I had no intention to speak," he said. "I thought the meeting was public."