JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Several hundred gun-rights advocates rallied at the state Capitol as the Missouri House voted to allow certain school personnel to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The House voted 115-41 to send the measure to the Senate Thursday.
The Missouri Sports Shooter Association held a previously scheduled rally in the Capitol rotunda while the House was debating the bill. Many lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, spoke at the event and promised to continue to push for more gun rights.
The House bill would also lower the minimum age required to carry concealed weapons and allow firearms less than 16 inches to be openly carried by people with valid permits.
Flooding is the major concern after more than two inches of rain has fallen in the St. Louis area in just the past day.
Jefferson County officials have issued an emergency evacuation advisory. They are encouraging anyone near a body of water to immediately seek higher ground.
Residents of De Soto, Missouri reporting that several city buildings, including the fire department, are flooded and roads are impassable. Emergency crews continue their work to rescue people trapped in their cars.
A section of I-70 flooded near Highland, Illinois, and forced authorities to close an the exit ramp onto Route 143.
In the more immediate metro area, there are reports of flooding on low-lying roads, including Wild Horse Creek Road in West County.
KTRS News spoke to MoDOT about some tips to keep you safe on the roads. If it seems like a water-covered roadway is shallow enough to drive across--don't do it! Do not drive through flooded areas. And the best way to avoid hydroplaning is to slow down.
MoDOT also has up-to-date road information here.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has ruled that police must usually try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects.
The justices on Wednesday sided with a Missouri man who was subjected to a blood test without a warrant and found to have nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said for the court that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood is generally not sufficient reason to jettison the requirement that police get a judge's approval before drawing a blood sample.
Missouri and the Obama administration were asking the court to endorse a blanket rule that would have allowed the tests without a warrant.
CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri sheriff is raising safety concerns about gatherings at an old sand mine now used as a recreation complex.
The 200-acre site near Crystal City once provided sand to a glass factory. It is now known as Crystal City Underground.
The site is also rented out to parties. A gathering on April 6 drew hundreds of people. Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that deputies issued eight summonses, including three for underage drinking and two for drugs.
Boyer is concerned about whether emergency vehicles could get to the site, and if a bridge meets safety standards.
Owner Tom Kerr says an emergency plan is in place and plans are in the works for a new road and bridge to the site.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Candidates to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson in Missouri's 8th Congressional District will debate next month at Southeast Missouri State University.
The university announced Tuesday that the 90-minute live debate will air at 6:30 p.m. May 28 on KFVS-TV. It also will be webcast on the Southeast Missourian's website.
All four candidates running in the June 4 special election will participate. They are Jason Smith, a Republican; Steve Hodges, a Democrat; Bill Slantz, a Libertarian; and Doug Enyart, the Constitution Party. Because seating is limited, tickets will be distributed by each candidate's campaign headquarters.
Missouri's 8th District stretches from the outer suburbs of St. Louis south to the Missouri Bootheel and west to the Ozark hills.
Emerson resigned in January to lead a national association of rural electric cooperatives.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The federal Social Security Administration now says that its investigators were not able to read an electronic list of concealed gun permit holders from Missouri.
In an email Monday, a spokesman for the federal agency says it distributed incorrect information last week when it said the disk was read before it was destroyed. The agency's retraction came after Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer held a news conference Monday recounting what he had been told about the disk by the agency's inspector general.
The miscommunication highlights the confusion about an issue that has been a growing concern among Republican lawmakers. They fear gun owners' privacy rights were violated when the Missouri State Highway Patrol provided the list of permit holders to a federal investigator.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The way Missouri processes concealed weapons permits has fueled the fire in Republican lawmakers' fight over the state's new driver's license procedures.
Missouri appears to be the only state to have concealed weapons endorsements printed on driver's licenses. Permit holders can choose to have the endorsement printed on the license or on a separate card issued by the Revenue Department.
In most other states, county sheriffs or police issue the concealed weapons permits. Some states don't require a permit at all to carry a concealed weapon.
The department began scanning applicants' concealed weapons permits and other documents in December when it switched licensing protocols. Republicans say the department could share that information with the federal government or a private company. Revenue department officials deny that information is being shared.
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri authorities are trying to determine what to do with at least 1,700 concealed-carry permit holders who received their required firearms training from a man accused of shortchanging his students.
Fifty-two-year-old Donald Crangle is charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court with seven misdemeanor counts in the case. His attorney, Williams Buchholz, didn't immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an investigation began when a permit applicant presented a certificate showing he'd received eight hours of firearms training that very day. The St. Louis County police records clerk was stumped because it was only 1:30 p.m.
Undercover officers then attended Crangle's class. Police said participants were told they'd completed the course after just three hours and without meeting any state-mandated criteria.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the recent shooting deaths of two bald eagles in northwest Missouri.
The Missouri Conservation Department said in a release Friday that one bald eagle was found shot to death in January in Caldwell County. The other bald eagle was found shot to death in February in Clay County.
The department says a reward is being offered for information leading to a conviction in the case. It's a state and federal offense to shoot a bald eagle.
Anyone with information about the case can call the Missouri Operation Game Thief hotline, 800-392-1111.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Social Security Administration says one of its fraud investigators received a readable list of Missourians who have concealed-weapons permits but that the list was later destroyed.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that the agent received the list in a readable format from the Missouri State Highway Patrol in January.
Patrol officials told a Missouri Senate committee Thursday the data were never accessed at the federal level because of a technical glitch. But the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General told The Post-Dispatch the unreadable version was sent to the agent in 2011.
The investigator was planning to check if anyone who met Missouri's mental health qualifications for a weapons permit had also sought benefits for a mental disability. But the project was dropped.