A Better St. Louis. Powered by Journalism.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Print
  • Email

Missouri House seeks to expand gun rights, approves tax credits to attract gun manufacturers

In Backroom

12:01 am on Wed, 05.01.13

With time ticking on a number of key issues, including the state budget, the Missouri House returned on Tuesday to one of its favorite topics this session: guns.

The chamber acted to approve several bills or amendments dealing with firearms, including measures that:

  • Allow the arming of some school personnel, including teachers and administrators;
  • Reduce the minimum age to 19 from 21 to carry concealed weapons;
  • Eliminate the three-year renewal for concealed/carry permits;
  • Transfer the handling of such permits from the state Department of Revenue to local sheriffs;
  • Bar the enforcement of federal gun restrictions;
  • Offer tax credits to encourage gun manufacturers in other states to move to Missouri.

Many of the provisions are contained in HB 859, including the elimination of state involvement in issuing the concealed/carry permits.

Some legislators and gun-rights advocates have been furious for weeks with the Department of Revenue – and, by association, Gov. Jay Nixon – after learning that it had been scanning and preserving copies of the concealed/carry permits, along with such documents as birth certificates and marriage licenses, often presented to obtain drivers licenses.

To quell the controversy, Nixon ended the scanning of concealed/carry permits and accepted the resignation of department director Brian Long. But Nixon has objected to calls to end the scanning and preservation of other personal documents, citing federal anti-terrorism efforts.

But House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, and other Republican legislators have continued to be upset over the issue – ire that appears to be fueling the frenzy to approve gun-related legislation.

Tuesday’s action on HB 859 generated heated debate between state Reps. Wanda Brown, R-Cole Camp, and Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, over the provisions encouraging the arming of school personnel. Brown backs the idea, while Newman does not.

Newman contended that having more firearms in schools “increases the chances of someone getting hurt or dead.”

Brown retorted that “people like you have fought for years to make those gun-free school zones’’ and, in her opinion, were partly to blame for school shootings, such as the deaths of first graders in Newtown, Conn.

The bill passed 123-34.

Tax breaks to attract gun makers to Missouri

Later Tuesday, Connecticut came up again – this time when state Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, proposed targeting tax credits to gun manufacturers. White’s amendment, which won first-round approval, calls for earmarking up to $3 million a year in state tax credits to induce gun manufacturers to move to Missouri.

White told legislators that he’s read that several gun manufacturers in Connecticut are seeking to move to other states in the wake of Connecticut’s new gun restrictions.

White said he was seeking to send a message to the gun industry that “we like you….We are really interested.”

His amendment was added to the “Missouri Firearms Freedom Act’’ that seeks to exempt Missouri from most federal gun restrictions. Chief sponsor, state Rep. Chrissy Sommer, R-St. Charles, said the act still would allow the enforcement of federal laws against automatic weapons.

Sommer added that she shared the optimism that more gun manufacturers may consider moving to Missouri.

Another amendment approved Tuesday allows sheriffs to collect fingerprints from people seeking concealed-carry permits to make sure they are not felons or otherwise barred from carrying a firearm. Such fingerprints could not be stored by the sheriffs and would be destroyed as soon as it is determined whether the applicant qualifies for a concealed-carry permit.

Many of the House's pro-gun measures face an uncertain future in the state Senate, where some Democrats have so far filibustered or delayed floor action on some pro-gun proposals.

2 Comments

Join The Beacon

When you register with the Beacon, you can save your searches as news alerts, rsvp for events, manage your donations and receive news and updates from the Beacon team.

Register Now

Already a Member

Getting around the new site

Take a look at our tutorials to help you get the hang of the new site.

Most Discussed Articles By Beacon Members

Conference of American nuns will mull response to Vatican charges

In Nation

7:55 am on Fri, 08.03.12

Meeting in St. Louis next week, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will have its first opportunity as an assembled group to consider what to do after the Vatican issued a mandate for change this spring. It calls on the conference to reorganize and more strictly observe church teachings.

The 'free' Zoo

In Commentary

7:51 am on Tue, 05.22.12

When a family of four goes to the St. Louis Zoo, they can be forgiven for not knowing it will cost them $60, $72 if they park. If they can't pay, the alternative is to tell the kids they can't do what kids do at the zoo.

Featured Articles

House sends Boeing incentive bill to Nixon

In Economy

12:55 pm on Fri, 12.06.13

The Missouri House easily passed legislation aimed at attracting production of the 777x, a move that wraps up a legislative special session that saw little suspense and few surprises. The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Nixon, who has strongly supported the legislation.

Gandhi inspired Mandela on South Africa's 'Long Road to Freedom'

In World

10:10 am on Fri, 12.06.13

Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95, was a towering moral figure of the 20th century -- along with Mahatma Gandhi. It was no coincidence that Gandhi and Mandela, whose paths never crossed directly, both embarked on their campaigns against discrimination in South Africa. It was when Mandela won election as South Africa’s first black president that Gandhi's influence became apparent.

Featured Articles

Regina Carter brings jazz and therapy to Children's Hospital

6:36 am on Mon, 12.09.13

One night, the violinist is taking bows before a standing ovation at Jazz at the Bistro. The next afternoon, some of her audience may have trouble standing, but the kids in the playroom at Children's Hospital were no less appreciative. “Jazz is medicine personified," according to a doctor who brings in the jazz musicians.

Encore: Dead before death

In Performing Arts

12:58 am on Fri, 12.06.13

For years , the author was certain he would never come to appreciate The Grateful Dead, let alone be a Deadhead. But little by little, he's come around. He talks about his conversion and relates a real evolution: by a musician who went on to play with the Schwag, a Dead cover band.

Featured Articles

Schlichter honored with St. Louis Award

In Region

4:57 pm on Tue, 12.03.13

The attorney has founded Arch Grants, which brings together nonprofit philanthropy and commercially viable opportunitiesto fund new business startups, and Mentor St. Louis, which finds adult mentors for elementary students in the St. Louis Public School System. He was the driving force behind the state's historic tax credit program.

BioGenerator sets open house to celebrate new digs for entrepreneurs-in-residence

In InnovationSTL

12:29 pm on Tue, 11.12.13

BioSTL's BioGenerator organization is on the move as its entrepreneurs-in-residence find a new home in 4,300 square feet of office and conference space in an old automobile factory. The blossoming program, which helps BioGenerator's portfolio companies to get off the ground, continues to pay dividends within the growing biotech community.

Ambassadors aim to soften rough landing for St. Louis immigrants

In InnovationSTL

6:34 am on Fri, 11.08.13

The St. Louis Mosaic Project is set to hold an orientation for its new ambassadors -- dozens of foreign and native-born volunteers who aim to help make the community a more welcoming place for those from other nations. Participants will be expected to do everything from visiting local restaurants serving international cuisine to having dinner with an immigrant to the area.

Recent Articles

More Articles

Innovation and entrepreneurial activity are on the rise in St. Louis, especially in bioscience, technology and alternative energy. The Beacon's InnovationSTL section focuses on the people who are part of this wave, what they're doing and how this is shaping our future. To many St. Louisans, this wave is not yet visible. InnovationSTL aims to change that. We welcome you to share your knowledge, learn more about this vibrant trend and discuss its impact.

Featured Articles

Regina Carter brings jazz and therapy to Children's Hospital

6:36 am on Mon, 12.09.13

One night, the violinist is taking bows before a standing ovation at Jazz at the Bistro. The next afternoon, some of her audience may have trouble standing, but the kids in the playroom at Children's Hospital were no less appreciative. “Jazz is medicine personified," according to a doctor who brings in the jazz musicians.

Featured Articles

Featured Events:

More About The Beacon Home