Some Missourians defend gun rights after Tucson shootings.
From Missouri Digital News:
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed


MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed


MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

Some Missourians defend gun rights after Tucson shootings.

Date: April 7, 2011
By: Helena Kooi
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 294

The Arizona shootings created a national debate over large capacity ammunition clips. In Missouri, some defend the clips as lawmakers pass legislation to expand second amendment rights.
RunTime: 4:36
OutCue: SOC

John Waldschlager fires a few rounds at Target Masters,a gun store and shooting range in Columbia. 


Run Time: 00:05
Description: Gunshot Gunshot Gunshot Gunshot
Actuality: AMMO5.WAV
Run Time: 00:10
Description: "Sometimes you need a full-size magazine because you have a full-size problem. And while that happens rarely, when it happens to you, that's a hundred percent of the time."

That was Kevin Jamison, President of the Missouri Sport Shooting Association.

A killing spree in front of a Tucson grocery store more than two months ago left six people dead and thirteen wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Police say the accused gunman, Jared Loughner, used a high-capacity magazine containing thirty-two rounds.

Some states are considering a ban on high-capacity ammunition. But amoung more than fifteen hundred bills filed this year, not a single one has been filed in Missouri about restricting ammunition as of the end of March.

Communications Director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Ladd Everitt says restrictions on magazine size could have saved lives in Tucson.

Actuality: EVERITT2.WAV
Run Time: 00:17
Description: "He hit 19 people with those 32 rounds. I mean this was a guy with no military training, he wasn't a former cop. He was a kid that had bought guns and gone to the range a few times and he was able to hit that number of people in a span of just 15 seconds killing six of them."

Attorney Dale Roberts teaches firearms law for the Missouri Bar Association as well as concealed carry certification classes in Columbia.

Roberts says most people don't need high-capacity ammunition, but that doesn't mean it should be outlawed.

Actuality: ROBERTS4.WAV
Run Time: 00:05
Description: "The law doesn't require me to demonstrate need. The law says I have a right to own things."

Everitt says there is no need for the average person to have access to this type of ammunition.

Actuality: EVERITT1.WAV
Run Time: 00:07
Description: "They have no legitimate civilian purpose. You don't need anything larger than a 10-round magazine to defend your home."

Andy Pelosi with the States United to Prevent Gun Violence says reforms are necessary after what happened in Tucson.

Actuality: PELOSI3.WAV
Run Time: 00:05
Description: "We want to be decreasing the lethality. We don't want to be making it easier for people to kill more people."

However, Jamison says if large-capacity magazines are useful for killers, they're useful for people in self-defense.

He says a ban on high capacity magazines would violate the second amendment.

Actuality: AMMO6.WAV
Run Time: 00:04
Description: "It was a bad idea fifteen, twenty years ago. It's a bad idea now."

Jamison says a ban wouldn't prevent criminals from getting high capacity ammunition but would limit law abiding citizen's ability to defend themselves.

He says no amount of legislation can eliminate mass shootings.

Meanwhile, the Missouri legislature is considering bills that would put more guns in the hands of Missourians.

The House passed a package of six pro-gun bills, including a measure lowering the minimum age to carry a concealed weapon from 23 to 21.

Mid-Missouri Republican Representative Jeanie Riddle sponsored the bills.

Actuality: RIDDLE5.WAV
Run Time: 00:07
Description: "This bill deals with law abiding citizens to protect their God-given, constitution guaranteed right."

If passed, this bill would be the first change to Missouri's concealed carry law since the state began issuing permits six years ago.

Roberts says lowering the age requirement is a good idea.

He says Missouri currently has one of the highest age requirements in the country.

Robert also says this is driving Missourians to seek permits in other states where the requirements are more lax.

Actuality: ROBERTS1.WAV
Run Time: 00:07
Description: "If it passed, it would mean I think, better trained permit holders in Missouri and more revenue for the state of Missouri."

The Missouri Revenue Department says there are more than one hundred and twenty thousand people with Missouri concealed carry permits.

Since Missouri recognizes the concealed carry permits from every state that issues them, there is no way of knowing exactly how many people are carrying concealed weapons in the state.

But not everyone in the Missouri legislature is happy with this movement to expand Second Amendment rights.

Democratic Representative Jill Schupp opposed the bills.

Actuality: SCHUPP1.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: "Why we think 21 year olds should not be able to serve on the Board of Curators and yet, we think it's okay for them to carry a gun with them makes no sense to me."

While not everyone can agree on high-capacity ammunition and concealed carry laws, both sides of the argument say better background checks would keep more guns out of the hands of criminals.

Roberts says mental health reporting is an issue when it comes to background checks.

Actuality: ROBERTS3.WAV
Run Time: 00:13
Description: "If there's evidence of mental disease or defect, it's not getting reported to the system that's already in place to catch those people and keep them from buying guns. And that seems to be the case with Laughner."

From the state Capitol, I'm Helena Kooi.