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Rallies continue to support pro-gun rights, opposition to anti-gun legislation

Rallies continue to support pro-gun rights, opposition to anti-gun legislation

April 12th, 2018 by Jeff Haldiman in News

Wednesday saw a Gun Rights Rally in the Capitol Rotunda and one of its featured speakers was Alex Salsman, the political director for Missouri Firearms Coalition. Salsman, at left, visited with attendee Melody Noland, of Lexington, after speaking. She addressed about 100 gun rights supporters gathered to hear speakers then break to go visit their legislators.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

They've had several successful efforts in recent years, and they want to let Missouri lawmakers know they are continuing their pledge to protect gun rights of citizens.

Wednesday was the 26th annual Gun Rights Rally Day at the state Capitol. The Gateway Civil Liberties Alliance sponsored the event.

The rallies began as efforts to get conceal-and-carry legislation passed in Missouri, and now their purpose is to demonstrate continuing support for pro-gun rights legislation and opposition to anti-gun legislation.

Those at Wednesday's rally said the legislation they want to see passed this session is House Bill 1936, sponsored by state Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Nixa.

The bill would make changes to the list of locations an individual can carry a concealed firearm in Missouri. The bill also would prohibit the state, political subdivisions, and public institutions of higher learning from imposing any policies or contractual requirements that would have an effect of prohibiting employees or students from carrying concealed firearms into locations where concealed carry is not otherwise prohibited by law.

The bill would not make changes to the penalties for carrying a concealed firearm in locations already prohibited.

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The bill made it through the House General Laws Committee and House Rules Committee but currently is not on a House calendar for floor debate.

Missouri Firearms Coalition Political Director Alexandra Salsman told attendees Wednesday that many lawmakers are trying to find a way to bury the bill.

"This is absolutely unacceptable," she said. "They are counting on gun owners to support them and fund their campaigns as they run for reelection later on this year. HB 1936 would do away with the dozens of so-called 'gun-free zones' that blanket so many locations here in Missouri."

Salsman said in these places — like churches, child care centers, polling stations, hospitals and schools — "you and I are forced to disarm and simply 'hope for the best' if confronted by an armed assailant.

"I don't know about you, but with virtually every mass shooting in the last 10 years taking place in one of these 'gun-free zones,' that sounds simply outrageous."