He did vote to override the veto - grudgingly. I thought you guys might like to read this. Seems like there was a lot of sentiment in Jeff City that we had finally overwhelmed them and resistance was futile. Only took 129 years.
I received your e-mail and understand that many people are
concerned and upset, while others have been supportive of my
vote. I struggled with the decision to vote to override, but in
the end, with 44 states adopting concealed carry laws, two
things were clear:
*A concealed carry bill was going to pass in this state;
*It was going to pass, unfortunately, without a public
To best protect the people I represent, I was convinced that
we were better off with a safe, restrictive bill now rather than
be forced to accept a weaker, riskier version tomorrow.
I have attached a copy of my floor speech, which I hope will
explain in detail why I thought this was the best decision to
MICHAEL R. GIBBONS
Michael R. Gibbons
Senator, 15th District
His comments on the floor:
Remarks on the Floor of the Missouri Senate
Occasion of the Veto Override Attempt
September 11, 2003
I have struggled with whether to override the governor’s veto to adopt a permit system to carry concealed. I have studied it carefully to make sure, after considering all factors, that my vote would best protect the people I represent.
First, I need to address a rumor that the Republican Party and my Senate colleagues have pressured me, threatening my leadership position or any future that I may have. These rumors are absolutely false. I must admit that I expected there might be some of that, but I am proud to report that there has been no such threat. My Republican colleagues and the Party have never pressured me and have left me alone to resolve this issue as I see best to do the right thing for the people I serve.
House Bill 349 is probably the most restrictive of the 35 states that now have a right-to-carry system, and far safer than Proposition B. Applicants must be at least 23 years old, the oldest in the country, and mandatory training is specified. Unlike Prop B, applicants are excluded if they are felons, convicted or plead guilty to a violent misdemeanor in the previous five years, the subject of an order of protection, a fugitive, dishonorably discharged, an alcoholic or drug addict, mentally incompetent, or a person the Sheriff believes poses a danger to themselves or others.
In populated areas like St. Louis County, the Sheriff can delegate to local police chiefs the responsibility for issuing permits, officials who should better know which applicants pose a risk.
The list of prohibited places has been extended to include churches, schools, stadiums, amusement parks, bars, polling places, courthouses, public buildings by statute or ordinance, and others. Of great importance to law enforcement, the permit is noted on the holder’s driver’s license.
Thirty-five states have adopted shall-issue permit systems and 9 states a more limited version. Only six states have no conceal and carry. In 1987, 10 states had a shall-issue system. Today, 35 states have one, with three states adopting this year: Minnesota, Colorado and Alaska. Two more are likely to adopt such a provision yet this year (Ohio and Wisconsin). Seven out of ten states have a shall-issue right-to-carry, a total of 44 states with some form of concealed carry. Looking at these 44 states, one finds some deterrent effect on violent crime with no increase in violence, shootouts or harm to children because of permits.
Moreover, very few permits have been revoked- less than 1%. There is no proof that it increases the number of guns in circulation and the number of people applying for permits is low.
How close has Missouri been to joining these other states and passing a less restrictive bill? In 2000, Governor Holden won by less than 1% of the vote. If Jim Talent had won, a less restrictive bill would already be law, and in 2004 we may have a new governor who would make signing such a bill a top priority.
Even closer, in less than two months, a pro-conceal carry candidate will be elected in the 11th Senate District to fill the vacancy caused by Senator DePasco’s recent death, guaranteeing a veto proof majority for a riskier bill.
The passage of a shall-issue right to carry is inevitable.
My preference has been for a public vote, and it is the lack of a public vote that caused me to vote “no” in April. Since then, after looking at the 44 other states that have conceal and carry, knowing that no other state has had a vote, knowing that a veto proof legislature is imminent, and possibly a new governor, two things are clear:
1. A shall-issue right to carry is going to pass; and
2. It will not go to a public vote
House Bill 349 is the last chance that we have for a safe restrictive law that will best protect the people I represent. It also best protects the people I love- my family, my wife, and my children. I am convinced that it is the safest bill we are ever going to see in this state. The next time around, with a veto-proof legislature, we will end up with a watered down, riskier bill that will become law.
To best protect the people I represent, I believe that we are better off with a safe, more restrictive bill today than be forced into a weaker, riskier version tomorrow.
My vote in favor of overriding this veto, at this time, is the right thing to do.
A. That sounds like Mike. I worked with him for a few months when I was in Jeff City. He's quiet, thoughtful, and plays his cards close to the chest.
B. This is classic political reasoning at work. He is being honest here. At its best, this shows a man who doesn't like guns and doesn't like the idea of people carrying them around every day, but bows to the facts and the political reality of the situation. At its worst, this shows a man who would like to see the bill fail but believes that a restrictive bill now is better than a wild west bill later. Classic political "reasoning..."
Funny as hell he did play it best for his constutients yet they are out there hammering him for it.
I have to admit though, by his reasoning he is a awfully slick feller.
I was impressed he replied to me since I don't live in his district. I was candid about that in my note to him. It was obviously computer generated since I received the same email literally 11 times. I think he needs some help with his system.