Concealed guns bill stalls in Senate

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A bill allowing Missourians to carry concealed weapons stalled Tuesday after the Senate agreed to put it to a public vote -- and have it take effect -- only outside large urban areas.

On a voice vote, the Senate approved an amendment that would place the issue on the November ballot for all Missouri voters except those in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Kansas City, Jackson County and Greene County.

Rep. Doyle Childers, who sponsored the amendment, noted that urban voters were behind the 1999 defeat of a concealed weapons referendum. That measure -- Proposition B -- was defeated by 33,000 votes out of more than 1.2 million cast.

If a concealed weapons measure were successful on the ballot this November, according to Childers' amendment, it would become law only in those counties that had been allowed to vote on it.

"Why not let the parts of the state that do want to be able to protect themselves be able to?" said Childers, R-Reeds Spring.

"If the urban areas feel like they are adequately protected by their police departments, then I'm willing to let them do that," he said.

Bill put aside

The chamber's approval of the amendment prompted Majority Leader Bill Kenney, R-Lee's Summit, to suggest that the bill be put aside so that the Senate could take up other matters.

Sen. Harold Caskey, D-Butler, who is handling the House-passed bill in the Senate, agreed to do so.

Tuesday's debate was the first this year by the Senate on concealed weapons legislation.

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