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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker wants to increase penalties for gun owners who illegally carry firearms into schools.
   State Rep. Deborah Conroy is introducing a proposal that would make carrying guns into Illinois schools a felony. That includes pre-schools up to colleges and universities. Currently, first and second-time offenders are charged with a misdemeanor.
   Another measure introduced by the Democrat from Villa Park increases fines for carrying guns into prohibited places from $150 to $500. Fines currently go to a state mental health fund.
   Conroy says this proposal is about providing more money to cover mental health services. She says the current amount is too low.
   The bill is in a House committee with other proposals changing the concealed carry law passed last year.
 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 01:00

MO Senate endorses gun nullification bill

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation that seeks to send federal agents to jail for enforcing gun control laws.
   The Republican-led Senate gave first-round approval to the measure late Tuesday. It would declare federal gun controls laws that infringe on gun rights to be null and void. Federal agents enforcing those laws could be prosecuted and punished by up to one year in jail.
   However, the measure would likely face a court challenge if approved. And courts have consistently ruled that states cannot nullify federal laws.
   Republican Sen. Brian Nieves is sponsoring the bill. He says it protects liberties, but opponents say it would lead to more violence.
   The bill, which needs one more vote before moving to the House, would also allow designated school personnel to carry concealed weapons in schools.
 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate leader has put forth a new, pared-back proposal dealing with the enforcement of federal gun control laws.

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard released a draft Thursday of proposed legislation for the 2014 session seeking to nullify federal gun control laws that infringe on Second Amendment rights.

The new proposal comes about seven weeks after Richard and Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey voted against an attempted veto override of a bill addressing the same subject because of concerns about its constitutionality.

Unlike the original bill, the new proposal would not subject federal authorities to state misdemeanor charges for trying to enforce certain federal gun control laws. It also eliminates a provision that could have resulted in charges against journalists for publishing the names of gun owners.

 

Published in Local News

   EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - The state of Illinois is asking a federal court to reject a push by gun-rights advocates to let the state's residents start publicly toting weapons as soon as next week, rather than waiting months for implementation of a new concealed carry law.

   Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office asked a judge Thursday to throw out the request filed in East St. Louis by Mary Shepard. She filed the injunction a day after lawmakers lifted the last-in-the-nation ban. The state argues Shepard needs to file a new complaint instead of a motion seeking an emergency hearing from a judge.

   No hearing has been scheduled.

   Shepard says an unconstitutional ban on packing pistols remains because it will be as long as nine months before the first carry permits are approved in Illinois.

   

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee has advanced a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at protecting gun rights.

The amendment approved on Tuesday would define the right to bear arms as "unalienable" and require the state to defend against any "infringement" of that right. It would also include defending one's "family" with a firearm as a guaranteed constitutional right.

Sponsoring Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia, says the legislation would protect against proposed gun control laws at the state and federal level.

The Senate passed the same measure earlier this year. If passed by the full House, Missouri voters would need to approve the constitutional change.

 

Published in Local News
Friday, 19 April 2013 02:37

Concealed carry fails in Illinois House

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has defeated a proposal allowing the carrying of concealed guns in public.

   The vote of 64-45 in favor of the bill failed because it needed 71 votes. A super-majority was necessary because the law would preempt the home-rule powers of several cities.

   The legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg would have required authorities to issue concealed-carry permits to anyone who passed background checks.

   Phelps used a legislative procedure that will allow him to recall the bill later for another vote.

   Illinois is the only state in the nation that prohibits possessing guns in public. A federal appeals court in December ruled the law unconstitutional and gave Illinois until June to adopt a new law.

 

Published in Local News

    A prominent, long-time St. Louis area gun rights advocate is giving up his lifetime membership in the NRA.

   Adolphus Busch IV sent a letter to the National Rifle Association Thursday, asking them to immediately take his name off their roles.  

   In the letter, Busch wrote that he was resigning his membership because of the NRA’s stand on background checks, which he says is supported by a majority of NRA members.  Busch cites NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre's support of background checks as "reasonable" in 1999 and questions the shift in position.    

   Busch also questions the organization's position on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.  Busch charges that the NRA has become a lobby organization for gun and ammo manufactures instead of gun owners.

 

Here is the content of Busch's letter to the NRA:

 

Adolphus A. Busch, IV

Belleau Farm

1600 Highway 79

O’Fallon, MO  63366

 

Delivered by UPS

 

April 18, 2013

 

Mr. David A. Keene

President

National Rifle Association of America

11250 Waples Mill Road

Fairfax, VA 22030

 

Mr. Keene,

 

This letter shall serve as formal resignation of my life membership in the NRA. I ask that you immediately remove my name from your membership roles and provide me an acknowledgement of this action.

 

As most in your organization would admit, I have historically been a staunch defender of the NRA purpose and tradition in representing the interests of gun owners.  I have personally devoted countless financial resources and time to nurture an intelligent environmental policy that provided for the proud tradition of personal hunting for generations to come.

 

It disturbs me greatly to see this rigid new direction of the NRA. As a starting point, one only has to ask why the NRA reversed its original position on background checks.  Was it not the NRA position to support background checks when Mr. LaPierre himself stated in 1999 that NRA saw checks as “reasonable”?  Furthermore, I fail to see how the NRA can disregard the overwhelming will of its members who see background checks as reasonable.  In fact, according to a Johns Hopkins University study, 74% say they support background checks.

 

I am simply unable to comprehend how assault weapons and large capacity magazines have a role in your vision. The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established. Your current strategic focus places a priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members.

 

One only has to look at the makeup of the 75-member board of directors, dominated by manufacturing interests, to confirm my point.  The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners.

 

In closing I find it important to extend my personal thanks to Chris Cox and David Lehman for their support of so many important environmental issues.  I will miss that level of friendship and support, but must take this action based upon my personal feelings toward the distorted values I see emerging within the NRA.

 

Sincerely,

 

Adolphus A. Busch, IV

Published in Local News
Thursday, 04 April 2013 11:32

MO Senate passes gun rights amendment

   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has passed a proposed change to the state's Constitution designed to strengthen gun rights.

   The amendment would declare gun rights "unalienable" and compel elected officials in Missouri to defend against any infringement on the right to bear arms. It would also allow people to use firearms in defense of their families.

   Senators voted 29-2 Thursday to send the measure to the House. It is sponsored by Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia. Missouri voters would need to sign off on the constitutional change if the measure passes the House.

   The gun amendment is SJR14

 
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment bolstering certain gun rights after a Democratic state senator blocked a vote for several hours.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, of University City, stood Tuesday and read news reports about gun violence in her urban district. She says the Legislature should focus on legislation curbing violence in urban areas.

The amendment would declare gun rights "unalienable" and compel elected officials in Missouri to defend against any infringement on the right to bear arms. It would also allow people to use firearms in defense of their families.

The sponsor, Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia, says his amendment responds to proposed gun restrictions in the federal government.

It needs one more vote before moving to the House, and would later need approval by Missouri voters.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate panel is trying to prevent the enforcement in the state of President Barak Obama's executive orders on gun control.

The committee voted Tuesday to adopt the measure sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger, of Williamstown.

Obama signed 23 executive actions in January, including orders to make more federal data available for background checks and end a freeze on government research on gun violence.

Munzlinger's bill initially would have criminalized the enforcement of all federal gun laws, even those enacted by Congress, passed after Jan. 1, 2013. But those provisions were revised to include only the enforcement of executive orders.

A House committee endorsed similar legislation last week, but that measure seeks to criminalize enforcement of all federal gun laws.
Published in Local News
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