JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released a new poll revealing that 86 percent of Missouri voters support requiring a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. The results of the poll, for which residents of gun-owning households made up more than half of all respondents, come just weeks before the Missouri legislature heads back to Jefferson City for a veto override session in September where it’s expected the legislature may vote on whether to override Gov. Nixon’s June veto of SB 656.
The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, also indicates that 63 percent of Missouri voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate who voted to eliminate Missouri’s permitting requirement. Full poll results can be found here.
In June, Governor Nixon vetoed SB 656, a dangerous gun bill that would eliminate Missouri’s concealed carry permit requirement and let some violent criminals, repeat drunk drivers, drug criminals, and people with no firearm 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 there is a clear and safe alternative. The bill would make Missouri the first new Stand Your Ground state since the death of Trayvon Martin.
“As a mayor, my greatest responsibility is working with law enforcement to help ensure the health and safety of our community,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “The fact that so many law enforcement leaders have opposed SB 656 underlines the risks posed by this irresponsible bill. Our concealed carry permit requirement protects Missourians every day, and eliminating it would be a reckless step making us less safe.”
“Not only would SB 656 put law enforcement officers at even greater risk, it would make it harder for us to protect the public,” said Kevin Ahlbrand, legislative director and former president of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police and a sergeant in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. “By removing Missouri’s concealed carry permit requirement, the law would take away a tool that local law enforcement officers use to keep dangerous people from carrying concealed handguns in public. I urge our state legislators to support Missouri law enforcement officers — and protect all Missourians — by preventing SB 656 from becoming a law.”
“All our families will be less safe if state legislators side with the special interests and override the governor’s veto of this dangerous bill.” said Becky Morgan, volunteer chapter leader with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “That’s why so many mothers across the state, many of them becoming involved in our organization for the first time, are working to prevent this reckless proposal from becoming a law. The overwhelming majority of Missourians support our current permit requirement for concealed carry and demand our legislators listen to the will of the people – not the gun lobby. SB 656 would eliminate our current permit requirement and make it legal for dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public.”
During the legislative session this spring, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America 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, and also testified in the House and Senate.