SB 656 Would Allow People to Legally Carry Hidden, Loaded Handguns in Public Without a Permit or Safety Training
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released a new television ad urging Missouri lawmakers to reject SB 656, a dangerous package of gun proposals that would dismantle Missouri’s concealed carry permit requirement and let some violent criminals, certain repeat drug offenders, and people with no firearms safety training carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. The ad highlights law enforcement leaders’ opposition to permitless carry and asks lawmakers to side with the 76 percent of Missourians—including 72 percent of those in gun-owning households—who oppose dismantling the permit system. The ad begins airing today.
“We’re asking Missouri lawmakers to put public safety ahead of the interests of the gun lobby,” said Becky Morgan, volunteer chapter leader of the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “An overwhelming majority of Missourians—including law enforcement officers, gun owners, and non-gun owners alike—support our existing law, which requires handgun safety training, a criminal background check, and a permit to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public. It defies common sense to dismantle our current law and make it easier for dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. It’s time our lawmakers listen to their constituents and the law enforcement officers sworn to protect them.”
In addition to eliminating Missouri’s concealed carry permit requirement, SB 565 includes other dangerous provisions that put Missouri citizens at risk. The bill would force public colleges and universities to allow hidden, loaded handguns on campus, and also includes a Stand Your Ground provision that would upend Missouri self-defense law and allow people to shoot to kill in public places, even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger. These elements of the bill have garnered widespread opposition from the Council on Public Higher Education, law enforcement, and mayors throughout the state.
“Senate Bill 656 is embarrassing and dangerous,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The Missouri Legislature has abandoned this state. It is more concerned about the endorsement of the NRA than the safety of its citizens.”
“The Missouri Senate must stand with our schools, our law enforcement, our community leaders, and the people of Missouri to oppose this dangerous bill that panders to special interests instead of public safety,” said Clayton Mayor Harold Sanger, member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Gutting our concealed carry permit requirement, forcing guns onto college campuses, and encouraging a culture of shoot-first-ask-questions-later puts my community of Clayton, and all Missouri communities, at risk.”
This session, Everytown and the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action drove hundreds of calls into legislators offices urging opposition to permitless carry, Stand Your Ground, and guns on campus bills. Volunteers testified in House and Senate committee hearings in opposition to permitless carry and Stand Your Ground proposals and in February, more than 80 volunteers met with lawmakers to show their support for common sense gun safety measures and opposition to dangerous bills like SB 656.