An alternative to ‘guns at work’ laws
Missouri making progress toward legal, armed self-defense on campus
Missouri campus carry bill needs help
OK–they don’t call it an “anti-gun tyranny grade,” but then again, the Brady Campaign has something of a history of misrepresentation. Anyway, the Brady Campaign has “awarded” Missouri with four points (pdf file) on its 100 point scale.
Missouri has weak gun laws that help feed the illegal gun
market and allow the sale of guns without background checks. In the 2009 state scorecards released today for all 50 states by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Missouri earns just four points out of a total of 100.
Ooh–how sinister. So what, specifically, are Missouri’s supposed failings that “help feed the illegal gun market”?
“Since Missouri does not require Brady criminal background checks on all firearm sales, including those at gun shows, gun traffickers don’t need to leave the state to funnel illegal guns to felons and gang members,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Mr. Helmke is aware, we must assume, that criminal background checks are required under federal law for any gun sale made by a licensed dealer, and he is most likely aware that criminals obtain only a tiny proportion of their firepower from gun shows. Finally, his statement that “gun traffickers don’t need to leave the state to funnel illegal guns to felons and gang members” is especially amusing–does he think that these gun traffickers don’t have cars?
A low Brady anti-gun tyranny grade, of course, corresponds to a high freedom grade, so four points on a 100 point scale is pretty impressive–but not, I must say, good enough to crack the top 7. Missouri comes in behind Alaska, Arizon, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma (all two points), and Utah (zero points–go Utah!), to tie for 8th place with six other states (pdf file).
Missouri scored its four points by virtue of A) not requiring colleges and universities to “allow” private citizens to possess firearms on campus; and B) not requiring businesses to “allow” firearms, even stored in locked vehicles.
Legislation was introduced last year that would, had it passed, made Missouri as free as Utah. A campus carry bill (actually, a more broadly written relaxation of gun laws, with an amendment that added campus carry), HB 668, had little trouble passing in the House, but the legislative session ended without a Senate vote. I haven’t discovered, so far, any attempts to try again this year, but it could still happen.
There was also SB 3, the “Business Premises Safety Act,” to bar employers from prohibiting firearms in workers’ vehicles on company parking lots, but that bill apparently never had much momentum behind it. There is, incidentally, a similar bill, HB 1400, this year. I’ve mentioned before that I think better justification could be made for an alternative approach, and I would hope that that approach would be seen by the Brady Campaign as being “bad” enough to deny the state any points in the area of “No Guns in Workplace.”
So be proud, Missourians, of your score, but don’t be satisfied. Tell your legislators that you want that zero.
More from Gun Rights Examiners
Atlanta: Ed Stone | Austin: Howard Nemerov | Boston: Ron Bokleman | Charlotte: Paul Valone | Cheyenne: Anthony Bouchard | Chicago: Don Gwinn | Cleveland: Daniel White | DC: Mike Stollenwerk | Denver: Dan Bidstrup | Fort Smith: Steve D. Jones | Grand Rapids: Skip Coryel | Knoxville: Liston Matthews | Los Angeles: John Longenecker | Minneapolis: John Pierce | National: Dan | Phoenix: Douglas Little | Pittsburgh: Dan Campbell | Seattle: Dave Workman | St. Louis: Kurt Hofmann | Tucson: Chris Woodard | Wisconsin: Gene German