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NYT Editorial Calls Missouri 'The Shoot-Me State' After Gun Rights Bill Passes

Image: NYT Editorial Calls Missouri 'The Shoot-Me State' After Gun Rights Bill Passes

(AP)

By    |   Friday, 16 Sep 2016 03:55 PM

In a scathing editorial, The New York Times decries a recent vote from Missouri's Legislature to expand gun rights, calling it "an alarming victory for the gun lobby."

According to the Times, the law will allow the carrying of concealed weapons in public with no state gun permit, firearms training or criminal background check required. Local law enforcement will no longer be able to deny firearms to those convicted of domestic violence or other high-risk individuals. The law also creates a "stand your ground" defense allowing gun owners to claim self-defense for shooting someone if they feel threatened.

Democrats opposing the bill said it was a "perfect storm" of lower standards for using deadly force and invites irresponsible gun practices. An overwhelming Republican majority passed the law over the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The state Police Chiefs Association warned legislators that the laws threaten public safety, as did the group Everytown for Gun Safety, which claims that stand-your-ground laws lead to a higher proportion of damage to minority communities.

The mayors of Kansas City and St. Louis also opposed the law, citing drastic increases in domestic violence homicides in their cities, and claiming that police would be at greater risk.

The National Rifle Association celebrated the override, saying it's "a great day for freedom in Missouri."

Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke, who retires at the end of the year after 28 years of service, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he estimates he refuses a dozen requests for gun permits per year, but that the new law would weaken his ability to do so.

"I have no problem with the original law," Toelke said. "I could refuse a permit for somebody who has had frequent contact with the law, or who is a suicide threat. Now that person will be able to carry a concealed weapon, and that concerns me."

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson agreed, saying the law "will leave [citizens] less safe, and make the job of law enforcement more difficult and put our officers in danger."

"You just assume everybody knows how to use a gun, but how many people accidentally shoot themselves?" he said. "You have to show us you know how to drive a car, but don't have to show us you know how to shoot a gun."

But Republican State Rep. Eric Burlison sees this as a victory for citizens.

"Missourians have more freedom than they did yesterday," he said.

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In a scathing editorial, The New York Times decries a recent vote from Missouri's Legislature to expand gun rights, calling it "an alarming victory for the gun lobby."
new york times, editorial, missouri, gun, law
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2016-55-16
Friday, 16 Sep 2016 03:55 PM
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