Gun Rights Supporters Head to Gateway Arch, Citygarden to Test Missouri's New Gun Laws [UPDATES]

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Courtesy of Jeffry Smith
Who wants to get strapped for a stroll?
The current landscape of Missouri gun law is confusing.

Last month, state legislators overrode Governor Jay Nixon's veto on a bill that instantly erased all regional bans on open carrying firearms. Then, add the passing of Amendment 5, which enshrined all Missouri gun laws as "unalienable," and it would appear that gun rights in the Show Me state have never been stronger.

But nobody in Missouri -- including law enforcement and St. Louis city officials -- seems to understand the true scope of these new gun laws, says Jeffry Smith, a firearms activist and instructor from Ohio. Smith is leading an "Open Carry/Firearms Educational Walk" this weekend in downtown St. Louis, saying he wants Missourians to know their constitution provides a fundamental right to open carry firearms, even without a concealed carry permit. He and potentially dozens of local and out-of-state activists want to prove their point by taking a "friendly" jaunt with their guns through Citygarden and the Gateway Arch on October 25.

Update: See below for interviews with St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson and a federal ranger at the Gateway Arch.

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Police Chief, Circuit Attorney Say "Unalienable" Gun Rights Amendment Misleads Voters

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Flickr/KazVorpal
A proposed Missouri constitutional amendment would beef up state gun laws to match the "unalienable" rights in the Declaration of Independence, and that's setting off alarm bells with St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce.

Both have filed lawsuits targeting state legislators for misrepresenting the amendment on the August 5 primary election ballot. The ballot includes the question: "Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is a unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right?"

"It doesn't tell voters that 140 years of law is going to be wiped out," says attorney Burt Newman, who filed Joyce's motion on Wednesday. "People have a right to know."


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Missouri Senate Approves Bill That Criminalizes Federal Gun Laws

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Flickr/Michael Glasgow
The controversial Second Amendment Protection Act has cleared the first legislative hurdle to becoming Missouri law.

Sponsored by Republican State Senator Brian Nieves, the bill, SB 613, would nullify federal gun laws and treat federal agents enforcing those laws as criminals. Yesterday, the Missouri Senate approved the bill, 23-10.

SB 613 is moving to the House, where last year a similar bill, HB 436, was resoundingly approved with a vote of 109-49.


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GOP Legislators Placate NRA By Stripping Toothless Amendment From Gun Bill

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Flickr
Republican State Senator Brian Nieves doesn't shirk from hitting below-the-belt. The pro-gun politician's latest opponent, however, is the National Rifle Association.

"The NRA is using the same inappropriate, dishonest, and disgusting tactics we only expect from the left!!" he wrote in a Feburary 15 post on his Facebook page. "They are attacking Senate Bill 613, Missouri's Second Amendment Preservation Act, based on LIES!"

Responding to pressure from the NRA, Missouri's Republican-dominated Senate voted yesterday to cut a Democratic amendment from Nieves' extreme pro-gun bill, SB 613. The amendment would have required gun owners report a stolen firearm within 72 hours.


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NRA "Misfire" Unites Two Opposing MO Senators To Defend Gun Bill Amendment

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Office of Sen. Jamilah Nasheed
State Senators Jamilah Nasheed and Brian Nieves during Wednesday's press conference..
Democratic State Senator Jamilah Nasheed and Republican State Senator Brian Nieves do not agree on gun regulation. Nieves is behind the latest attempt to nullify federal gun laws in the state, and Nasheed is an unwavering gun-control advocate serving St. Louis.

So what could possibly bring the two together to defend an amendment in Nieves' hardcore gun bill?

The National Rifle Association, of course.

The NRA denounced Nieves' Second Amendment Preservation Act on Tuesday -- the very same day the bill was endorsed by the state Senate. Nieves says the organization wrongly interpreted one of the bill's amendments, offered by Nasheed, that gives Missourians 72-hours to report a stolen gun to authorities.

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Police Nab Suspects in Merciless Nerf Gun Drive-By Shooting

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via Nerf
Police believe the suspect might have used a Nerf Blaster model similar to the one shown here.
As a black SUV slowly pulled into the drive-through of the Lion's Choice in Fenton, the cashier at the window had no idea of the danger that was about to occur.

The driver, with menace on his mind, slowly put on the brakes as his girlfriend aimed her gun.

The cashier, still unaware of the weapon-toting passenger, opened the service window to take the customers' order. And then it happened...

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New Gun Bill: State Lawmakers Try Again To Nullify Federal Firearms Laws

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Flickr/KAZ Vorpal
Is Missouri ready for a new "hardcore" gun bill?

The state legislature now has two proposed bills that would criminalize federal gun laws, setting up a potential sequel to last year's legislative blockbuster, House Bill 436, which fell just a handful of votes short of beating the governor's veto and becoming law.

Yesterday, the same lawmaker who proposed HB 436 last year, Republican Representative Doug Funderburk, submitted a new Second Amendment Preservation Act. If passed, the bill would empower the state to arrest and charge federal agents trying to enforce gun regulations.

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Missouri State May Ban Nerf Guns After 911 Call, Lockdown Over Zombie Shootout Game

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Dave Williss on Flickr
Humans v. Zombies players prepare to shoot "zombies" in Lincoln.
Missouri State University is considering banning Nerf guns from campus after students playing a zombie role-playing game led a professor to call 911 to report an active shooter.

College students across the country join the annual Humans vs. Zombies game, but after just a few years, Missouri State's has grown into one of the largest in the country.

More than 500 students carry Nerf guns to play tag with a post-apocalyptic twist: Shoot students dressed as zombies to live another day; get tagged, and you're a zombie yourself.

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Photo of the Day: Gov. Nixon Poses with His 11-Point Buck, Rifle After Hunting Trip

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Gov. Nixon
Gov. Jay Nixon harvested an eleven-point buck last weekend.
Governor Jay Nixon shot an eleven-point buck in Clark County last weekend, on the opening day of firearms deer season.

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45 Guns Ex-Judge Mike Cook Will Surrender After Pleading Guilty to Heroin Charges

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Michael Cook
Former St. Clair County Judge Mike Cook pleaded guilty to federal guns and heroin charges Friday after a friend and fellow judge died of an overdose.

Cook hopes the court will accept an 18-month jail sentence for his charges: a misdemeanor heroin possession and a felony for being a drug user in possession of firearms. (Fun fact: While being arraigned for these charges, Cook was wearing cutoff shorts and a "Bad is my middle name" t-shirt.)

As part of his plea, Cook agrees to surrender his cache of weapons, including ammunition, telescopic rifle and shotgun sights, and other accessories.

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