Holden hit with triple veto rebuff
Lawmakers override on guns, abortion.
Published Friday, September 12, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Overriding vetoes by Gov. Bob Holden, state lawmakers yesterday granted most Missourians the right to carry concealed guns and imposed new restrictions on women seeking abortions.
Key elements of the bill allowing most Missourians to carry concealed guns:
Missourians at least age 23 may apply to their county sheriff for a permit to carry concealed guns. They must be a U.S. citizen and either live in the state for six months or be stationed here in the Armed Forces. Applicants must undergo state and federal criminal background checks and pay $100 for a three-year permit, with a renewal cost of $50.
Permits are denied to anyone who has been charged with or convicted of a felony, convicted of a violent misdemeanor or twice convicted of driving while intoxicated in the previous five years, dishonorably discharged from the military, mentally incompetent or believed by the sheriff to be "a danger to himself or others."
Applicants must complete an eight-hour training course on handgun safety and marksmanship, as well as the safe care, cleaning and storage of firearms. The course must include a live firing exercise at a silhouette target.
Concealed guns are prohibited in police stations, prisons, courthouses, hospitals, local government meetings, taverns, airports, schools, colleges, child-care facilities, casinos, amusement parks, churches, within 25 feet of polling places, sports arenas that seat at least 5,000, or any place where a private property owner posts a sign prohibiting them.
Missourians at least age 21 may conceal guns within the passenger compartments of their vehicles without having to satisfy any of the requirements for carrying a concealed gun.
The Senate’s 23-10 vote to override the concealed guns veto met the bare minimum required for a two-thirds majority and reversed the outcome of a statewide election on the issue four years ago.
Moments later, the Senate voted 25-8 to override Holden’s veto of a bill requiring women seeking abortions to wait 24 hours after consulting a physician.
And today, in a historic rebuff of a Missouri governor, the House overrode a third veto this time declaring it illegal for governments to sue the gun industry over the social costs of gun violence.
Until this week, Missouri lawmakers had overridden just three vetoes since the Civil War. And never in Missouri history had a General Assembly overridden vetoes on more than one issue in a single year.
"I stood for the things I believe in, and I’ll stand for them every day," Holden said while also expressing an eagerness to put the two controversial issues behind him.
But Republican legislative leaders said the override votes show Holden is out of touch with the views of most Missourians, a theme likely to be used in the 2004 elections.
"It’s been a historic day. It’s a reassertion of the vast middle mainstream of Missouri against this governor who has adopted a series of extremist positions," said Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau.
"This is a complete disregard of the citizens of the state of Missouri," said Senate Minority Floor Leader Ken Jacob of Columbia, a Democrat, as the Republican-led Senate overrode Holden’s veto.
But gun-rights advocates said this year’s bill was far more restrictive than a measure voters defeated in 1999 - setting the highest minimum age in the nation and requiring much more extensive firearms marksmanship and safety training, among other things.
The gun lawsuits legislation, sponsored by Kinder, prohibits cities, counties, the state or any other political subdivision from bringing lawsuits against gun and ammunition manufacturers, dealers and trade associations relating to lawfully made and distributed products.
It allows individuals to sue, however, to recover damages for deaths or injuries caused by the negligent or defective design or manufacture of guns and ammunition.
All in All a good day for the pro gun movement here in Missouri.