JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI — Gov. Jay Nixon of the grand state of Missouri is going to have a lot to mull over after the Missouri legislature pushed forward a 72-page proposal expanding gun rights and broadening out the scope of Stand Your Ground laws.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the proposal has been hotly contested by mostly Democrats that are angry that citizens may have the right to protect themselves — something Democrats largely believe should only be the jurisdiction of the state.
“What kind of world do we want to live in?” Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City said. “Isn’t it our job to make our citizens safe?”
It is, Senator. And that’s why the Missouri legislature has pushed ahead measures to allow citizens to defend themselves. Stand Your Ground laws usually mean that so long as you, the law-abiding gun owner, have a reason to be where-ever you are, you have no duty to retreat from a perceived threat. Previously, court cases could get tied up for years over whether or not someone should have run when confronted by a threat upon his or her life.
“If you’re going to attack somebody, you’ve got to pay the consequences,” said Republican Rep. Galen Higdon of St. Joseph.
An additional measure thrown into the mix is permitless concealed carry for residents. If passed by the Governor and enacted into law, this would effectively mean that if you’re a resident of the state of Missouri and you are legally allowed to own a gun, you can carry it on you in a concealed fashion.
This doesn’t replace the need for training — this just takes the state out of the mandatory training required to currently pursue a concealed carry permit.
“I should be able to protect my Second Amendment rights, protect my family,” said Rep. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg.
If these measures all get signed into law, Missouri would join a number of states like Idaho and Maine to recently pursue permitless carry. This is quite a novel movement in many regards because it takes the state out of the process of deciding what qualifies a person to carry a concealed handgun.
Is a mandatory 8 hour course truly sufficient to prepare someone to prevail in the rigors of mortal combat? Arguably not. Then why are citizens required to pursue this and other similarly planned out courses that don’t actually ensure someone understands all he or she needs to know to win in a life-or-death situation?
Quite frankly, the onus of burden to ensure that a concealed carrier — permit or no — understands the ramifications of his actions, the law of the land, and best practices truly does come down to that individual’s desire to pursue knowledge. No state-mandated course can replace that.
So, permitless concealed carry may be coming to Missouri after all. What a great time to start training.