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Missouri House Approves Sweeping Pro-Gun Proposals

Gun legislation in the Missouri house includes dropping the conceal and carry age and arming certain school officials.

April 18, 2013|Joanna Small | Reporter and Photographer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —   The Missouri House has given it's preliminary stamp of approval to looser gun laws.  As many of our national leaders push for more restrictions, Missouri is moving in the opposite direction.

  Groups like the Brady Campaign have given Missouri failing grades for the strength of its gun laws, but the state house is considering more freedoms when it comes to guns and few people in the Ozarks are complaining.

  At 93 Jeanne Gamble may be the most senior member of her women's group the Springfield Soroptimist Club, but she's not about to play the age card.

  "I don't want the ladies to do anything that I don't do," she tells us, smiling.  "I don't want to miss out on anything."

  So she and some of her club friends are at Sound of Freedom in Ozark preparing to shoot a gun for the first time... in 93 years.

  "This is a new experience for me at least.  I don't know how many of the rest of them have ever even touched a gun but I haven't," Jeanne explains.

  It's not that Jeanne is anti-gun; she says when it comes to gun laws she's probably somewhere in the middle.

  "You know you're sort of torn." But Missouri's not nearly as torn as Jeanne.  Wednesday the state house gave preliminary approval to a bill that contains what are being called sweeping pro-gun proposals.

  There are actually 24 pieces of gun legislation in the Missouri House right now.  The proposals in this bill would ban the enforcement of federal gun laws, allow certain school officials to be armed, some people with small firearms to carry them openly, and it would reduce the CCW age to 19.

  "We're a concealed carry, second amendment-friendly state," explains A.G. Paul, owner of Sound of Freedom.  And he is totally on board with that.

  "Kind of makes you breathe a little easier that you're not in Massachusetts, Connecticut or California where they're stripping away everything they can."
 
  Paul says interest in firearms continues to grow-- he sells out almost all his beginner pistol and conceal and carry classes.

  Jeanne probably won't be taking one.

  "I was shaking when I got ready to pull it," she admits.  But she's glad to know she has the option and apparently also the eyesight of a much younger woman.

  "You hit the bullseye," Paul exclaims.

 All of those proposals and also one that would exempt private handgun sales from background checks were tacked on to an already existing bill.  They need one more affirmative vote before moving on to the senate.

  Most of those 24 pieces of gun legislation are to loosen laws.  There's even one by a St. Louis republican that would make it a felony for lawmakers to propose gun control bills.

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