JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A national group is vowing to sue if Missouri legislators enact a law allowing criminal charges against federal agents who attempt to enforce federal gun-control laws.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said Wednesday that it is prepared to sue if the Missouri Legislature overrides Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the bill. Lawmakers were convening Wednesday to decide on the veto override.
The legislation attempts to nullify federal policies that "infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms." It allows state misdemeanor charges against federal authorities who try to enforce those laws or against anyone who publishes the identity of a gun owner.
The Brady Center says the measure violates constitutional provisions protecting free-speech and declaring federal laws supreme over conflicting state measures.
DENVER (AP) - Campaigns are working to get as many voters as possible to the polls in Colorado's first legislative recall elections.
Two Democratic lawmakers who voted for new firearm restrictions are being challenged Tuesday.
Unlike most recent elections, there are no automatic mail ballots, so voters need to cast their ballots in person.
The gap between Republican and Democratic turnout in Sen. John Morse's district in El Paso County narrowed after a GOP advantage in early voting. In Sen. Angela Giron's Pueblo County district, Democrats have outpaced Republicans. Both districts also have a significant number of unaffiliated voters.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — With the help of some Democrats, Missouri's Republican-led Legislature appears prepared to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of a high-profile bill that seeks to nullify federal gun-control laws in Missouri and make criminals out of federal agents who try to enforce them.
The Democratic governor contends the bill violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Several of his fellow Democrats told The Associated Press that they don't disagree, but they say a "no" vote on gun-control legislation in some parts of Missouri could be career ending.
The Republican-led Legislature is to meet in September to consider a veto override.
The gun bill originally passed with comfortable margins in the House and Senate.
WASHINGTON, DC (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants Illinois police departments to use a federal firearms tracing system that can tell investigators the chain of custody of a gun from the manufacturer to the first legal purchaser.
Durbin says fewer than half of Illinois' more than 800 police departments use the eTrace program of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He said Monday he will be introducing legislation creating an incentive for police to use eTrace.
The legislation would require police departments seeking federal COPS grants to tell the federal government how many crime guns they've recovered. They would have to report how many were submitted to ATF for tracing and why any recovered guns were not submitted.
COPS grants are designed to encourage the development of community policing programs.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - The state of Illinois is asking a federal court to reject a push by gun-rights advocates to let the state's residents start publicly toting weapons as soon as next week, rather than waiting months for implementation of a new concealed carry law.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office asked a judge Thursday to throw out the request filed in East St. Louis by Mary Shepard. She filed the injunction a day after lawmakers lifted the last-in-the-nation ban. The state argues Shepard needs to file a new complaint instead of a motion seeking an emergency hearing from a judge.
No hearing has been scheduled.
Shepard says an unconstitutional ban on packing pistols remains because it will be as long as nine months before the first carry permits are approved in Illinois.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man who sold a rifle to the mother of the Newtown school shooter has pleaded guilty to failing to have a purchaser answer a question on a form related to citizenship.
The transaction that led to the guilty plea involved a different customer.
The U.S. attorney's office says Krystopher DiBella pleaded guilty Monday in Bridgeport to aiding and abetting the failure to make a proper entry on the form. Prosecutors and DiBella's lawyers have agreed to recommend three years of probation for the 25-year-old West Suffield resident.
DiBella worked at Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor. The Associated Press has reported Nancy Lanza bought from Riverview a Bushmaster rifle used in the December shooting by her son. Adam Lanza killed his mother at their home and then 26 people and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Several thousand messages are piling up as Missouri Governor Jay Nixon decides whether to sign recently passed legislation that would bolster gun rights.
The Republican-led Legislature approved measures that would tackle federal gun laws, allow certain trained school personnel to carry a concealed weapon and change the process for issuing concealed gun permits.
Nixon, a Democrat, has until mid-July to sign the bills, veto them or allow them to take effect without his signature.
As the governor decides what to do, some are seeking to sway his decision. Many are urging Nixon to sign the bills, calling them key to protecting Missouri residents' rights. Some suggest he should veto and raise questions about the legality and wisdom of the legislation.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A key Illinois senator says legislation allowing public gun possession will carve out an exception for Chicago.
Republican Senator Tim Bivins says the measure he and Democratic Senator Kwame Raoul negotiated would allow Cook County authorities to deny a concealed carry permit even if an applicant passes the required background checks.
The former county sheriff from Dixon says the rest of the state would be governed by a so-called "shall issue" law — anyone meeting requirements would get a carry permit.
Bivins says the bill is being written. He says it's not ideal but gun-rights advocates have to compromise.
A federal court has ordered Illinois to adopt a concealed carry law by June 9th.
A statewide "shall issue" bill failed Thursday in the House.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has defeated a proposal allowing the carrying of concealed guns in public.
The vote of 64-45 in favor of the bill failed because it needed 71 votes. A super-majority was necessary because the law would preempt the home-rule powers of several cities.
The legislation sponsored by Democratic Rep. Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg would have required authorities to issue concealed-carry permits to anyone who passed background checks.
Phelps used a legislative procedure that will allow him to recall the bill later for another vote.
Illinois is the only state in the nation that prohibits possessing guns in public. A federal appeals court in December ruled the law unconstitutional and gave Illinois until June to adopt a new law.
A prominent, long-time St. Louis area gun rights advocate is giving up his lifetime membership in the NRA.
Adolphus Busch IV sent a letter to the National Rifle Association Thursday, asking them to immediately take his name off their roles.
In the letter, Busch wrote that he was resigning his membership because of the NRA’s stand on background checks, which he says is supported by a majority of NRA members. Busch cites NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre's support of background checks as "reasonable" in 1999 and questions the shift in position.
Busch also questions the organization's position on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. Busch charges that the NRA has become a lobby organization for gun and ammo manufactures instead of gun owners.
Here is the content of Busch's letter to the NRA:
Adolphus A. Busch, IV
1600 Highway 79
O’Fallon, MO 63366
Delivered by UPS
April 18, 2013
Mr. David A. Keene
National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
This letter shall serve as formal resignation of my life membership in the NRA. I ask that you immediately remove my name from your membership roles and provide me an acknowledgement of this action.
As most in your organization would admit, I have historically been a staunch defender of the NRA purpose and tradition in representing the interests of gun owners. I have personally devoted countless financial resources and time to nurture an intelligent environmental policy that provided for the proud tradition of personal hunting for generations to come.
It disturbs me greatly to see this rigid new direction of the NRA. As a starting point, one only has to ask why the NRA reversed its original position on background checks. Was it not the NRA position to support background checks when Mr. LaPierre himself stated in 1999 that NRA saw checks as “reasonable”? Furthermore, I fail to see how the NRA can disregard the overwhelming will of its members who see background checks as reasonable. In fact, according to a Johns Hopkins University study, 74% say they support background checks.
I am simply unable to comprehend how assault weapons and large capacity magazines have a role in your vision. The NRA I see today has undermined the values upon which it was established. Your current strategic focus places a priority on the needs of gun and ammunition manufacturers while disregarding the opinions of your 4 million individual members.
One only has to look at the makeup of the 75-member board of directors, dominated by manufacturing interests, to confirm my point. The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers rather than gun owners.
In closing I find it important to extend my personal thanks to Chris Cox and David Lehman for their support of so many important environmental issues. I will miss that level of friendship and support, but must take this action based upon my personal feelings toward the distorted values I see emerging within the NRA.
Adolphus A. Busch, IV