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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a proposed constitutional amendment bolstering certain gun rights after a Democratic state senator blocked a vote for several hours.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, of University City, stood Tuesday and read news reports about gun violence in her urban district. She says the Legislature should focus on legislation curbing violence in urban areas.

The amendment would declare gun rights "unalienable" and compel elected officials in Missouri to defend against any infringement on the right to bear arms. It would also allow people to use firearms in defense of their families.

The sponsor, Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia, says his amendment responds to proposed gun restrictions in the federal government.

It needs one more vote before moving to the House, and would later need approval by Missouri voters.
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