The Missouri legislative session could be anti-climactic as far as big fights over gun control bills, thanks to House Majority Leader Rob Vescovo, who told reporters on Friday that he has no plans on bringing up any new gun control bills for a vote in the legislative session that begins in January.
“I think it’s important that we look at making our laws something that would-be criminals will fear and respect,” Vescovo wrote. “During the 2020 session we will again look for solutions that keep guns out of the hands of criminals while also protecting the gun ownership rights of the good people of Missouri.”
Vescovo’s comments don’t come as a surprise given the Republican-led Legislature’s prior support for gun rights, but gun violence has become a major issue in St. Louis this year after more than a dozen minors were killed this year.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson has met with the mayors of the state’s largest cities and last month signaled he would back a limited plan addressing gun use by minors, domestic abusers and felons.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that Democrats have already pre-filed more than a dozen gun control bills for the upcoming session, including an ammunition background check law that seems to be modeled after California’s ammunition background check law, which has been an absolute disaster for the state as we noted last week. Tens of thousands of legal gun owners have been falsely denied the ability to purchase ammunition because of problems with the state’s own records.
In the case of the bill filed by Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis, it sounds like it has many of the features of California’s law, though oddly enough the Post-Dispatch doesn’t mention anything about an actual background check for the ammunition sales. The legislation is HB 1856, but so far we don’t have the actual text of the bill to look at.
It sounds like Missouri’s Second Amendment supporters can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to the next session of the legislature, but don’t get too comfortable. 2020 is an election year, and Michael Bloomberg will be pouring a ton of money into the state backing anti-gun lawmakers and candidates in a bid to do to Missouri what he did to Virginia in November of 2019. The GOP holds a commanding 24-10 edge in the Senate and a whopping 114-46 advantage in the House, so it’ll be tough for the gun control groups to get their way, but the Governor Mike Parson is also up for re-election, and Democrats are hoping that high turnout in the presidential election will enable them to snatch the seat from Republicans.
As a Virginian, I’m envious of you Missouri gun owners. I just urge you to not take your good fortune for granted. You may feel like your rights are secure, but if you don’t work to keep them that way, they won’t be for long.