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GOP Gun Bill: Businesses That Ban Weapons Are Liable For Injuries on Their Premises

rep. caleb jones.jpg
via
Representative Caleb Jones.
How do you reduce the number of gun-free businesses in Missouri? Make it a lot easier to sue them.

That seems to be thinking of of a new proposal from Republican representative Caleb Jones, who wants private businesses that post signs banning guns to be liable for injuries that occur on their property.

In other words, as we've seen a lot this legislative session, get your hands off of my guns.

How would this work if it were signed into law?

We left a message for Jones yesterday and will update if we hear back.

In the meantime, let's take a look at the draft of the bill, which was introduced last week, as we approach the end of the legislative session.

concealed carry image 4.jpg
via

As written, House Bill 1022 says:

Any private business that displays signage which prohibits public invitees, business visitors, and employees from carrying a concealed weapon on the premises owned or occupied by such private business shall be liable for any injury or damages incurred by such public invitees, business visitors, and employees as a result of such prohibition if such public invitee, business visitor, or employee establishes by a preponderance of evidence that having access to a firearm may have prevented his or her injury or damage.

Furthermore:

Any private business that does not prohibit public invitees, business visitors, and employees from carrying a concealed weapon on the premises owned or occupied by such private business shall be immune from any liability arising from its decision to permit concealed weapons to be carried on business premises.

On the face of it, the bill seems to punish businesses that maintain gun-free zones and reward those that allow concealed-carry in instances of violence.

The one-page bill doesn't include a whole lot of specifics about how the "immunity" for concealed-carry-friendly establishments would work or how exactly a gun-free business would be liable if there were some injury on-site. What kind of evidence would be needed to prove that a gun would've made a difference? Would "no guns" businesses always be liable if violence occurs?

And on the other end, what sort of protections would the legislation provide for businesses that allow guns? Could these establishments uniformly block all litigation related to guns or violence on their property?

It's not immediately clear.

In the final weeks of the session, these kinds of bills are often cast aside by opponents as stunts designed to send a message -- in this case, an obvious pro-gun, anti-gun control one.

And there has been plenty of proposals in Missouri this cycle designed specifically to counter gun-control efforts, including a ban on federal executive orders, a rewriting of the Constitution to make gun rights "inalienable," an effort to criminalize fellow lawmakers who even propose gun control -- and a lot more.

Here's Jones' full bill as written.

HB1022

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.



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13 comments
Michael McGowen
Michael McGowen

so here we have a republican, the party always 'concerned' about government intrusion into private matters, and he wants to intrude into business owners' private matters...the usual hypocracy from either of the two 'major' parties...

Max Schulze
Max Schulze

Go ahead and ban ppl from legally carrying their registered guns and invite your business to get robbed. If I were a criminal looking to rob some place, I know that ones were CCW are banned are the first ones I would look to hit.

Eric Levy
Eric Levy

So the flip side should be true too, right? If a business allows weapons in their establishment, they're responsible if a rootin' tootin' cowboy shoots the place up. This is just getting plain silly.

Angela Poeling
Angela Poeling

The GOP has lost touch with reality. A business should have the right to allow or not allow guns inside property lines. Stay out of a person's right to run his business as he chooses.

Bill Courtney
Bill Courtney

Scott... in general, i have no problem with the conceal carry law. I will never tell you can't carry a weapon on public property or on YOUR private property. This business is MY private property. Yes, it has a public entrance, but it still private property. Please respect my private property rights and I'll respect yours. What makes your rights more 'right' than mine?

Scott E. Douglas
Scott E. Douglas

I don't agree with the proposal, as I'm a firm believer in that we are responsible for our own actions. If a business owner decides not to allow concealed carry, that is their own right. However, a business that does not allow me to protect myself as I see fit will also not be getting my business. Bill, do you, or anyone else, think that lawful gun owners who have taken the time and effort to get a concealed carry permit are really the problem here?

Bill Courtney
Bill Courtney

It is a popular myth that we can actually prohibit concealed weapons from our businesses. The MO law makes it such that a) I have to post it in big letters, b) I have to know someone is carrying, c) I have to ask them to leave and d) if they don't leave, I can call the cops and have them removed. If they get 'caught' a few times in my store with a concealed weapon, then and only then, can they be fined up to $150 (I think that is the amount).

megarock
megarock

This is the exact reason why I can never vote Republican. They want to force religion down our throats, force their guns down our throats and force their screwed up ideology down our throats by force of the law. 

Hate to tell them this...being that they are the Patriotic American's and Defenders of the Constitution but to do this would be illegal and against every single thing the Constitution stands for - especially considering they won't hold businesses liable that are gun-allowed zones if a gun nut happens to go ballistic. They also said it was wrong to hold liable those who manufacture these weapons. In fact so long as it's pro gun there is no liability at all. Only if you oppose their desires for a return to the Wild, Wild West.

Chris Ferguson
Chris Ferguson

So now we like business to make their own decisions? Can they decide to allow smoking in their own property?

Robert Winkelmann
Robert Winkelmann

So gun makers aren't liable for the damage their weapons cause to people but people are going to be held liable for the damage the gun makers weapons cause? Typical Republican logic.

Bill Courtney
Bill Courtney

So, current law allows me to ask (not require) people to respect my opinion that concealed weapons are not a great idea in my place of business... and this new law would make me liable if a criminal decides to shoot the place up? Despicable.

ciocia
ciocia

@Eric Levy No, no, no.  Read the whole thing.  The store that ALLOWS rootin' tootin' cowboys is protected from any liability. 

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