Missouri voters oppose General Assembly’s gun bills, polling finds

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Likely voters in this state “overwhelmingly oppose” measures moving through the General Assembly that would aim to negate a court case that allows felons to own guns, and another that would nix the state’s concealed-carry permit system, according to new polling by Survey USA.

The poll, commissioned by Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that opposes gun de-regulation across the country, was conducted earlier this month. It surveyed 1,225 likely voters between April 6 and 13 this year.

Nearly nine months after voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 5, a constitutional change that aimed to weaken the state’s ability to regulate guns, the survey found that 63 percent of voters believe felons should not be allowed to own a gun – 56 percent of whom identified as conservative.

The question came as a House committee was readying to hear House Bill 1220, legislation that aims to “fix” a court decision that allowed a non-violent felon to obtain a gun. While the ruling was limited, lawmakers have said they fear other successful challenges.

Still, the bill omits a number of felonies that are considered “non-violent,” including domestic assault, child sex trafficking, and conspiring to commit an act of terrorism.

“This poll underscores what Missourians have long known – that our right to bear arms goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Erin Gregory, a Kansas City leader with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, in a statement.

Missouri is a state with a deeply rooted culture of hunting and gun ownership – the kind of state where governors pose with their rifles and their bucks on opening day of hunting and home to companies like the Bass Pro Shop (which houses a museum funded by the National Rifle Association that is devoted to gun history).

Still, the polling found that some regulations are palpable with voters.

Another measure, House Bill 1250, would remove the state’s requirement that a gun owner get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The bill is part of a nationwide push called “constitutional carry,” and has gained some traction in states like Kansas.

In Missouri, 55 percent of voters polled said they would be “less likely” to support a candidate who would remove the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, a restriction supported by 63 percent of voters polled. According to the survey, 76 percent of voters oppose or “strongly oppose” a law “that would allow people to carry concealed handguns in public places without a permit.”

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