The Missouri legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of permitless gun carry on Wednesday, making it the 11th state to adopt the policy.
Missouri legislators bypassed the governor's wishes and instituted the new gun-friendly law by a vote of 112-41 in the House of Representatives and 24-6 in the Senate. Under the law, anyone over 21 who can legally own a firearm may now legally carry a firearm. The move continues a nationwide trend towards what activists call "constitutional carry."
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From the nation's founding through 2002 Vermont was the only state that didn't require a state-issued permit to carry a firearm. Alaska became the second state to adopt the policy in 2003. Over the last six years another nine states have followed suit, making it the hottest trend in state-level gun policy.
Some Democrats, such as the Missouri governor, have decried the move as unsafe.
"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 … process," Nixon said after vetoing the legislation in June. "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."
Gun rights advocates, on the other hand, celebrated their victory.
"This is a great day for freedom in Missouri," Chris Cox, head of the NRA's lobbying arm, said. "The legislature stood strong for the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens by overriding Gov. Nixon's misguided veto. Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg and out-of-state gun control groups to defeat the override vote, their agenda was rejected."