The ceiling of the House chamber.
Guns. More on guns, actually. Well, also, the ability to use your gun anywhere when you’re afraid. Anywhere. Without retreating. To “stand your ground”. Anywhere. Does anyone really think this is a good idea in a civil society? The republicans in the Missouri General Assembly certainly do.
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 656 [pdf]
563.031. 1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force to be necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful force by such other person….
….2. A person shall not use deadly force upon another person under the circumstances specified in subsection 1 of this section unless:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself, or herself or her unborn child, or another against death, serious physical injury, or any forcible felony….
(3) If the person is in any other location such person has the right to be.
5. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section. If a defendant asserts that his or her use of force is described under subdivision (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the burden shall then be on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not reasonably believe that the use of such force was necessary to defend against what he or she reasonably believed was the use or imminent use of unlawful force.
That is so-called “stand your ground”.
On Friday, toward the end of the session, Representative Eric Burlison (r) handled HB 656 on the floor of the House.
Representative Eric Burlison (r) – May 13, 2016.
Quite a few Democratic members of the House spoke out against the bill and its open season provision.
Representative Michael Butler (D) – May 13, 2016.
Representative Brandon Ellington (D) – May 13, 2016.
Representative Lauren Arthur (D) – May 13, 2016.
Representative Joe Adams (D) – May 13, 2016.
Some supported the bill:
Representative Denny Hoskins (r) – May 13, 2016.
Representative Hoskins (r) spoke in support of the bill because he was concerned that his children’s grandparents otherwise wouldn’t be able to defend his family in his home in his stead if he were away and an intruder threatened them.
You’d think that a significant percentage of county prosecutors have been going after people who have used a weapon to defend another family member’s home against armed (or not) intruders.
Still others spoke against the bill:
Representative Kimberly Gardner (D) – May 13, 2016.
Representative Alan Green (D) – May 13, 2016.
Representative Burlison (r) closed with “…[we] wouldn’t want people to pay fees to exercise their right to vote…”. This in defense of a gun bill after this same republican controlled General Assembly pushed for voter photo ID.
The bill was truly agreed to and finally passed.
Later the House brought up SCR 50 which designates the month of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Representative Tracy McCreery (D) – May 13, 2016.
Representative Tracy McCreery (D) was recognized to speak about the resolution. After she started speaking the Speaker admonished her to not address the previous bill. Representative McCreery continued, noting that guns are used quite a lot in suicides and also noting the hypocrisy of a body which had just passed a bill making it easier for people to use guns.
HA 4 to HCS SS SCS SB 663: open season (May 12, 2016)
Missouri House – May 12, 2016 (May 12, 2016)
The end of the legislative session – May 13, 2016 (May 13, 2016)