Missouri’s coming up with novel ways to fight for gun rights.
A state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would make proposing any legislation that restricts or limits gun rights a Class D felony.
Got that? State Rep. Mike Leara, a Republican from St. Louis County, is defending the Second Amendment by trying to ban any new attempts at gun control in Missouri.
House Bill 633 is short: “Any member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States, shall be guilty of a class D felony.”
Leara is honest about the proposed bill’s chances: He doesn’t believe it will pass. “I filed HB 633 as a matter of principle and as a statement in defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Missourians,” he said in a statement released Tuesday. “I have no illusions about the bill making it through the legislative process, but I want it to be clear that the Missouri House will stand in defense of the people’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
Missouri’s constitution guarantees the right to free speech and debate for state senators and representatives.
Rep. Stacey Newman, a Democrat from St. Louis who has sponsored legislation on background checks, responded on Twitter: “Sends me straight to prison re my HB 187,” followed by “Counting you all visiting me in prison re my background ck bill.”
At least Leara’s trying to make his point through peaceful means. State Rep. Eric Burlison, a Republican from Springfield, posted a video Tuesday on YouTube that literally takes shots at House Bill 545, a proposed ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines. HB 545 not only would make possession of certain weapons and ammunition a Class C felony, but would require anyone who owns them to turn them over to law enforcement or take them out of the state once the bill becomes law, if it does.
In the video, titled “2nd Amendment puts holes in HB 545,” Burlison interviews people about the proposed bill and, as expected, no one likes it, until one man says, “It’s a great bill.”
He continues. “It’s great target practice.” Then he shoots a printed version of the bill. Five times.
Burlison holds up the bullet-riddled paper and agrees.
Yep, it’s the Show-Me state.
Diana Reese is a freelance journalist in Overland Park, Kan. Follow her on Twitter at @dianareese.