JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has preliminarily approved sweeping measures that would expand gun rights in the state and allow certain school officials to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The bill would allow appointed "protection officers" to carry concealed weapons as long as they have a valid permit and register with the state Department of Public Safety. The officers would also be required to complete a training course established by the peace officer training commission.
The proposals adopted Wednesday would also lower the age required to carry a concealed weapon and allow firearms less than 16 inches in length to be openly carried. One of the measures would also criminalize the enforcement of any federal gun control laws adopted after January.
Lawmakers voted 34-74 yesterday against Rep. Kenneth Dunkin's plan. It was among seven amendments on gun issues that legislators debated yesterday as they consider a court-ordered law allowing conceal-and-carry.
Chicago Democrat Dunkin says an insurance policy would cost $500 to $2,000.
Republicans complained that's too expensive for citizens exercising a constitutional right. And they argued insurance companies don't write the policies anyway.
In December, a federal court struck down Illinois' concealed-carry ban and gave lawmakers until June 8 to adopt a law.
The House has begun weekly floor sessions allowing lawmakers to propose gun measures.
Quinn said Illinois's $100 billion pension shortfall is the number one problem for the state.
That feeling was echoed by business interests. The Illinois Manufacturers' Association says the time for talk is over and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce calls a failure to address pensions unconscionable.
But the president the Illinois Retail Merchants Association criticized the governor's plan to raise minimum wage from $8.25 to $10.00 per hour, saying it would hurt both employers and job seekers. The governor argued that no one working 40 hours a week should live in poverty.
During the speech, Quinn also said it was time for the state to allow same-sex marriages, and he renewed his call for an assault weapons ban.