Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D.) vetoed legislation that would have allowed any adult who was legally allowed to possess a firearm to carry it without a permit.
"As Governor, I have signed bills to expand the rights of law-abiding Missourians to carry concealed and am always willing to consider ways to further improve our CCW process," Nixon said in a statement. "But I cannot support the extreme step of throwing out that process entirely, eliminating sensible protections like background checks and training requirements, and taking away the ability of sheriffs to protect their communities."
The governor's decision comes after the Republican controlled legislature voted overwhelmingly in favor of the measure last month. At the time, the bill passed largely along party lines in a 114 to 36 vote in the House and a 24-8 vote in the Senate.
Gun rights supporters criticized the decision to veto the measure.
"If events in Orlando and San Bernardino have taught us anything it’s that the need for self-protection can occur anywhere at any time," Lacey Biles, director of the National Rifle Association's State and Local Affairs, said in a statement. "With this veto, Governor Nixon proves he is more concerned about scoring political points with out-of-state gun control groups than securing the safety of law-abiding Missourians. Missourians have consistently demonstrated their support for self defense both within the home and in public, but the governor turned a deaf ear to the will of the people."
If the vote count from May holds, the legislature should be able to override the governor's veto. The NRA said it is confident in that outcome.
"We are confident that the governor will hear the people’s voice loud and clear when the legislature re-convenes in the fall to override his veto," Biles said.