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Senate panel backs Nieves' bill on gun rights

Senate panel backs Nieves' bill on gun rights

January 29th, 2014 in News

On a 5-1 vote Tuesday afternoon, a Missouri Senate committee endorsed this year's version of the "Second Amendment Preservation Act" and recommended the full Senate pass the bill.

Last year, Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the House version of the measure - and the Senate fell one vote short of overriding the veto.

Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, sponsors the Senate measure that seeks to block the enforcement of federal laws - especially restrictive gun laws.

The proposed law says: "Whenever the federal government assumes powers that the people did not grant it in the Constitution, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force," and it declares that federal laws "which infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms" will be "invalid in this state (and) considered null and void and of no effect in this state."

Last week, the committee heard from four people supporting the bill.

This week, 10 people supported it, while five spoke against the bill.

Vietnam veteran Jim Nichols, Jefferson City, said too many people take a "micro look" at the issue.

"If we look at the overall picture," he said, "our entire Republic rests on a belief in a divine being, and beyond that, it is guns that protect us."

James Higginbotham, Russellville, said: "Out of the 55 years I've been alive, probably 45 of those I've had guns. Not a one of those guns has killed anybody."

Luke Shoemaker, Fulton, told the panel: "I believe this bill should have been passed last year."

Supporter Rich Hagendorf, Holts Summit, said opposition to the bill mainly was based "on emotion and anecdotal evidence. ... Gun ownership reduces violence."

But Dr. Robert Flood, director of St. Louis University's pediatric emergency medicine, said the bill "is written with the concept that more guns will make our families safer, while the scientific data does not support that belief. ... For every one self-defense homicide in the home, there are approximately five times as many domestic criminal homicides and 37 suicides."