The signing of what can truthfully be called "sweeping firearms legislation" by Gov. Jay Nixon on July 8 was greeted by gun owners and Show Me State shooters with unbridled enthusiasm.
Most of the general media stories covering HB 294 et al reported it lowered the age requirement for a Missouri concealed carry permit from 23—the highest in the country—to 21. That it did. However, an additional myriad of measures covered so much extra ground, the legislation literally read like a pro-Second Amendment lobbyist's laundry list.
For starters, the legislation signed by Nixon last week prohibits law enforcement from conducting investigatory sting operations at licensed firearms dealerships or gun shows like those instigated in the past by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYPD and makes such activity a Class D felony.
Other provisions prohibit sales tax on any firearms or ammunition from being levied at a higher rate than for any sales tax or other excise tax charged on any sporting goods equipment or any hunting equipment.
Further, Missouri law now allows residents to possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell a machine gun, short-barreled rifle or shotgun, or firearm silencer/suppressor as long as they conform with federal law.
Additional provisions in the bill:
- Repeal restrictions on the sale of rifles and shotguns that previously required purchasers or sellers to live in Missouri or a contiguous state.
- Allow members of the General Assembly, their full-time employees or a statewide elected official and his or her employees who hold a valid concealed-carry endorsement to carry a concealed firearm inside the State Capitol Building
- Specify that the shooting portion of concealed-carry endorsement training courses require at least 50 rounds each to be shot with a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol, instead of 50 rounds total with any handgun.