Guns: Dems Slam GOP Bill to Loosen Weapon Storage Restrictions for State Employees' Cars

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Another day, another gun debate at the Missouri State Capitol.

This time, lawmakers are fighting over a GOP proposal that would allow state employees to keep their firearms in their vehicles on state property.

Democratic representative Stacey Newman -- who has struggled to get any traction with her universal background check bill -- says that these pro-gun proposals are embarrassing, especially while the federal government is debating serious safety measures.

"The national conversation is, 'How do we reduce gun violence? How do we save lives?'" Newman tells Daily RFT. "Here, there's no debate. It's all about, 'Let's increase gun sales.'"

House Bill 533 passed out of the House yesterday, which makes it one step closer to potentially being signed into law.

The legislation, full draft on view below, is sponsored by Republican representative Jeanie Riddle and includes several revisions to firearm laws in the state. The section that's got Newman fired up says:

The state shall not prohibit anystate employee from having a firearm in the employee's vehicle on the state's property provided that the vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible. This subsection shall only apply to the state as an employer when the state employee's vehicle is on property owned or leased by the state and the state employee is conducting activities within the scope of his or her employment.

"It's clearly an NRA bill," Newman says, adding that there wasn't even an opportunity for serious debate.

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Her concern is that gun theft and gun trafficking are on the rise in urban areas and this only opens the door to more crime and gun violence.

"Every year, we come up with a loosening of concealed-carry [laws]," she says.

We reported earlier this week on an amendment in one privacy bill that would make the process of getting a concealed-carry permit easier.

Continue for more of our interview with Stacey Newman and for the full bill.

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Barry Bean
Barry Bean

Puh-lease. If a gun is out of sight in a locked car, it's no more a risk to anyone's safety than a gun out of sight in a locked house. Given that it is 100% legal for someone to have a gun in their car in Missouri, why should a state employee be forced to choose between parking at work or having their legally owned gun in the car?

JamesMadison topcommenter

The answer to criminals ready and willing to do harm to others is to make those criminals fear the public. Not knowing who might be willing and able to defend themselves makes for a more polite society.  While State buildings are adequately policed, we ought not demand public servants to go naked out into the communities where criminals go unchecked.These govt employees should be able to defend themselves as any human should be able to do.

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