Just a handful of Missouri lawmakers need to be persuaded in the next few months to do the right thing and endorse sensible gun control.
Gov. Jay Nixon should be front and center in trying to convince legislators — including some in his own Democratic Party — to uphold his brave veto Monday of a dangerous concealed-carry firearms measure.
Gun control groups — especially the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America as well as Everytown for Gun Safety — need to redouble their lobbying efforts. They must target specific lawmakers who might listen to reason on this issue.
The General Assembly in May passed the bill with 114 supporters in the House and 24 in the Senate. But Nixon’s veto can be sustained at the September veto session if the number drops to only 108 backers in the House or 22 in the Senate.
It’s especially important that more lawmakers listen to the people of Missouri, the majority of whom support common sense restrictions on toting around firearms.
Listen to the experts — such as Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker — who opposed making it even easier to carry concealed weapons in the state.
The bill Nixon vetoed would eliminate essential requirements that people get some training and a permit before being allowed to conceal their weapons. Gone would be any criminal background checks that would allow law enforcement to deny permits. All of this would make Missouri a more dangerous state for regular citizens.
“Public perception is changing on this issue,” Becky Morgan, volunteer chapter leader with the Missouri Moms Demand Action group, said Monday. She’s right.
The National Rifle Association’s unapologetic screeching on behalf of arming even more Americans is wearing thin. While the NRA’s power to buy off Congress is legendary, even that’s coming under more scrutiny and attack.
In Missouri, a small number of lawmakers need to realize they can still get re-elected after they support reasonable requirements for who can carry around a loaded weapon in society.