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House Gives First Round Approval To Concealed Weapons Bill

April 22, 2002
By: Kathryn Handley
State Capital Bureau
Links: HCS HB 1729

JEFFERSON CITY -The House on Monday gave first round approval to a bill that would allow private persons carry concealed weapons.

The House defeated two amendments that would require voter approval before the bill could become law. In 1999, a concealed weapon proposal called Proposition B was defeated by a vote of the people.

"I think it's extreme arrogance on our part to pass a bill when a majority of the citizens in the state and an overwhelming majority in those 10 counties plus the city of St. Louis have said 'we don't want this,'" said House Republican Leader Catherine Hanaway, of St. Louis County.

The 1999 proposal gained support in rural areas, but 10 counties and the city of St. Louis caused the plan to fail.

Hanaway sponsored one of the two defeated voter-approval amendments. Her "compromise" met opposition from both sides. "You know what you find in the middle of the road," she said, quoting a conservative radio columnist. "Roadkill."

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Frank Barnitz, D-Lake Spring said this proposal is different from the 1999 plan.

"We brought in several different groups and organizations that had concerns with Proposition B and we addressed those concerns in this bill."

A spokesperson for Gov. Bob Holden, Chris Kelly, said the governor will veto any legislation that expands Missouri's current conceal and carry law.

But some House members said they thought they had enough votes to override the governor's veto.

"I'm in hopes that this bill can get to the governor's desk and he can look at the bill for what it stands for and be able to make a decision from that," Barnitz said. "I hope that he will quit coming out and saying he's just automatically going to veto a bill that he's never seen."