Missouri lawmakers voted Thursday to pass a concealed carry law that will allow residents to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense without a permit from the government.
The vote to override Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656 made Missouri the 11th state with such legislation. It will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
The "constitutional carry" law gives greater legal protections to citizens who use firearms to defend themselves. The “stand your ground” provision means citizens don’t have to leave any area they have the legal right to be in if they feel threatened.
According to the NRA, 30 states currently have “stand your ground” precedents or laws, but Missouri is the first to pass a new law of this type since 2011, Fox News reported.
The legislation also allows guests like babysitters to use deadly force in a confrontation in the home, which is an expansion of the “castle doctrine.”
Some legislators worried that looser gun laws would put racial minorities at greater risk. “The targets in our area are black boys, not pheasants,” Ferguson-area Sen. Maria Chapelle-Nadal said, Fox News reported.
Republican lawmakers contended that these fears are unfounded.
“The basis of this whole bill is that it allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families,” said Republican sponsor Sen. Brian Munzlinger, according to Fox News.
Lawmakers overrode 13 vetoes in all on Thursday. Nixon was already the most overridden governor in Missouri history due to the extreme political division in the Capitol.
Many of the lawmakers are ramping up re-election campaigns for November. “I think a lot of the things that we’ve done today will resonate in the election in a very positive way,” said House Speaker Todd Richardson, Fox News reported.
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