Senate Passed SB 656, a Bill that Would Allow People to Legally Carry Hidden, Loaded Handguns in Public Without a Permit or Safety Training; 76 Percent of Missourians Oppose Permitless Carry
SB 656 Also Would Allow People to Shoot to Kill in Public, Even When They Can Clearly and Safely Walk Away from the Danger
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement denouncing the Senate passage of SB 656, a dangerous gun bill that would dismantle Missouri’s concealed carry permit requirement and let some violent criminals, certain repeat drug offenders, and people with no firearms safety training carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. SB 656 would also upend Missouri self-defense law and allow people to shoot to kill in public places, even when they can clearly and safely walk away from the danger. The bill would make Missouri the first new Stand Your Ground state since 2011.
“We are disappointed to see some of our lawmakers side with special interests over the wishes of a majority of Missourians and pass a bill that puts public safety at risk,” said Becky Morgan, volunteer chapter leader with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This bill would dismantle our current law and make it easier for dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public while also turning everyday conflicts into deadly encounters by emboldening people to shoot rather than resolving disagreements in another way. We strongly urge our Governor to veto this dangerous legislation—the safety of our communities depends on it.”
Earlier this week, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released a television ad urging Missouri lawmakers to reject SB 656. In addition to the ad, the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action drove hundreds of calls in to legislators’ offices urging opposition to permitless carry, Stand Your Ground, and guns-on-campus bills, testified in House and Senate committee hearings in opposition to these dangerous proposals, and in February, more than 80 volunteers met with lawmakers to show their support for common sense gun safety measures and opposition to dangerous bills like SB 656.
Everytown for Gun Safety research has shown that states with Stand Your Ground laws have, on average, experienced a 53 percent increase in homicides deemed justifiable in the years following passage of the law, compared with a five percent decrease in states without Stand Your Ground statutes during the same period—an increase disproportionately borne by the black community. And after Florida passed its Stand Your Ground law, its “justifiable homicide” rate tripled. Additionally, a 2012 study by researchers at Texas A&M found that Stand Your Ground laws are associated with a clear increase in homicides, resulting in 700 more homicides nationwide each year.
The Urban Institute also examined racial disparities in justified gun homicide rulings that involve a single shooter and victim who are strangers. The researchers found that when white shooters kill black victims, 34 percent of the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable, while only 3.3 percent of deaths are ruled justifiable when the shooter is black and the victim is white.