Missouri State Rep. Mike Leara may have finally figured out a way for gun-rights advocates to win the renewed fight on gun-control legislation: he's introduced a bill that would take any member of the state assembly who proposes their own bill that "further restricts" Second Amendment rights and, you know, hit them with a class-D felony. And in Missouri, that could mean four years in jail. This is real, folks — here's Missouri House Bill No. 633:
Class D felonies are the least serious felonies in Missouri, but they can carry sentences of up to four years. According to the Missouri House of Representatives, Leara's bill has not been heard yet, but even Leara says he knows that the bill will not pass — he's doing this to prove a point. But he insisted in an interview with Talking Points Memo that it's not just too crazy to fail:
I filed HB 633 as a matter of principle and as a statement in defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Missourians ... I have no illusions about the bill making it through the legislative process, but I want it to be clear that the Missouri House will stand in defense of the people’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
The rest of the bills that Leara has introduced seem to be more practical legislation — Bill HB310 "Establishes the Seniors' Retirement Protection Act which specifies that up to $125,000 of the value of the primary residence of a person who is 62 years old or older will be exempt from attachment or execution" — as opposed to, you know, statement-making blockbusters like his Second Amendment protector. And it comes in the face of strong local opposition: "Leara's measure is the latest in a series of strident gun proposals in Missouri. It comes after a Democratic lawmaker proposed outlawing all assault weapons," reports the AP.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.