Gun Control Group Moves to Block Missouri’s Constitutional Carry

Bloomberg-backed group runs ads against permitless gun carry bill

Holstered guns / AP

Gun control activists are targeting lawmakers in Missouri over a bill that would legalize permitless gun carry in the state.

The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, both funded in part by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, released an ad urging lawmakers to vote against the measure. The legislation would allow any adult who is legally allowed to possess a firearm to carry one on their person without first obtaining a state permit. It would also expand the state's so-called "Stand Your Ground" protections to include public places.

Everytown labeled the bill "a dangerous package of gun proposals that would dismantle Missouri’s concealed carry permit requirement" in an email to supporters.

"Senate Bill 656 is embarrassing and dangerous," St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, a member of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in a statement. "The Missouri Legislature has abandoned this state. It is more concerned about the endorsement of the NRA than the safety of its citizens."

The group said the ad, which begins airing on Wednesday, is only part of their effort against the bill. It said members had made "hundreds" of calls to legislators opposing permitless carry and other initiatives during the current legislative session. Everytown also said it brought 80 volunteers to the Missouri state house in February to lobby lawmakers.

On the other side of the issue, the NRA appealed to its members to show support for the bill.

"Out-of-state billionaire and former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has once-again launched a misinformation campaign aimed at undermining the rights of law-abiding Missourians," an alert sent to NRA members said. "Bloomberg-funded gun control groups are misrepresenting facts and statistics in an attempt to persuade your elected officials to oppose these constitutional carry bills. Don’t let Bloomberg bring his big-city style gun-control to Missouri!"

Advocates are currently pushing for a vote on the bill before the end of the legislative session on Friday.