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MO Legislature Overrides Veto, Allows Schools to Arm & Train Teachers

MO Legislature Overrides Veto, Allows Schools to Arm & Train Teachers

Democratic Governor suffers bi-partisan rejection of his efforts to limit school defense

The majority Republican Missouri legislature handed yet another victory to pro-children activists yesterday, and a stunning defeat to those who would leave school children vulnerable to murderous psychopaths, when it overwhelmingly overrode the Democrat Governor’s veto of legislation allowing teachers to be armed in schools, as reported by the NRA and other news sources.

SB656 was passed and delivered to the Governor in May 2014, who vetoed the bill on July 14.  Yesterday the Missouri Senate voted to override the veto by a vote of 23 to 8, and the House by a vote of 117 to 39.  Supporters of the override came from both Democrats and Republicans.

A full copy of the bill is embedded at the bottom of this post.

SB656 allows the school district to designate teachers or administrators to receive extensive training as school protection officers as well as to carry a gun on school property.

The law also included other pro-self-defense provisions, including allowing open carry anywhere in the state for people possessing a concealed carry license. This is very useful even for those license holders who never intend to openly carry, because it protects them from the risk of a brandishing charge in the even they unintentionally reveal their concealed handgun to casual observation.

The law also lowered from 21 to 19 the age at which a person can obtain a concealed carry license, as well as other favorable provisions.

SB656 will take effect no later than October 23.

[NOTE: The “featured image” is of the Arkansas Christian Academy, which elected to arm its teachers and post signs to that effect, as reported by www.newson6.com.]

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He holds many state-specific Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and produces free online self-defense law educational video- and podcasts at the Law of Self Defense University.

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Comments

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | September 13, 2014 at 1:19 pm

FYI

Inside the high school where teachers are trained to take down school shooters

First school to take advantage of a law allowing licensed armed security guards on campus

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2381796/Clarksville-High-School-Inside-high-school-teachers-pellet-guns-trained-school-shooters-STUDENTS-targets.html

Interesting comments on that article also.

“As a parent myself, I would love it if my local school district would take actions such as this school. Everyday that my kids go to their “Gun Free School Zone” they are just sitting ducks. I wish more school districts would ignore the left’s fantasy based fear mongering and take the necessary steps to protect the children. Keep up the good work Arkansas!”

“Sherry Womack told the news service she does not believe teachers should make life-or-death decisions involving students.” It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where everyday nutjobs are more frequently making “life or death” decisions for our children. I’m in law enforcement and I actually support the actions taken by this school. With enough GOOD (emphasis on good) training and security, this school will make would be shooters think twice before trying to shoot up this location.”

Thass some purdy good law-makin’, rat thar…

But wait, Biden said the nation was crying for more gun control, as the best way to stop crazies like the nut at Sandy Hook!

Even though some civil rights nuts keep us from institutionalizing the very “crazy”, maybe we could at least allow a psychologist to suggest a check on the guns in the homes of their nuttier clients. Such measures would have prevented/discouraged many/most of the mass killings, like Sandy Hook and Aurora.

But in any case, making schools holding our precious national treasure (kids) into gun free zones begs the question, why banks are not gun free zones?

And if cops are not affordable or close enough, Sandy Hook had brave teachers give up their life defending the kids, so we surely could trust (most of) them with a weapon. Of course the teachers themselves need a certain level of psych evaluation and some training.

We must protect valuable things with weapons. A certain few teachers with a weapon locked in their locked closet would have prevented Sandy Hook. More gun free zones will only give us more Sandy Hooks.

I love that sign. It may not deter a would be mass shooting (though I think it will), but if the shooter sees that sign then they walk into the school on the defensive which at the very least will slow them down.

It’s about time.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | September 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Great that MO overrode its el Jefe’s veto. Too darn bad that MN also has its own little, cross-eyed el Jefe, he of shut down the senate, the nasties are coming, fame!

Also, would like to like this posting but cannot so indicate my like of it. Pity!

Increased opportunity cost and elevated risk to deter opportunistic and aspiring criminals. Well, it’s an experiment. Still, if you cannot trust your own people, then who can you trust? Personally, I would prefer armed security guards. The responsibility which follows with being armed may distract from the teachers’ primary responsibility.

    “The responsibility which follows with being armed may distract from the teachers’ primary responsibility.”

    Why would you think that? I’m armed every day, have been my whole adult life, it’s never distracted me from my primary responsibility.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

They should have made it so all licensees, not just teachers, can carry on school grounds. Also, this law will kill reciprocity with Washington State (and possibly others). A provision lowering the minimum age is what got Florida dropped from Washington’s list, and Florida’s was only for military personnel.

    They already had CCWs covered for carrying on school grounds. This was specifically for teachers, and to get them the extensive training as school resource officers.

    I’m not sure, but I expect the previous state of the law allowed CCW generally, but excluding teachers in particular, and this addressed that shortcoming.

    The extensive training element is definitely new.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Phillep Harding in reply to randian. | September 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Ahhh. I had not realized Florida was no longer legal in WA. Thanks.

    May I assume Utah is?

Everyone *except* teachers could carry? Truly bizarre. Few states (California, interestingly, is one of them) allow school carry, which is why I assumed Missouri was one.

    I wish I could speak with authority on this, but my expertise is self-defense law, not gun law, and the news reports were ambiguous.

    Obviously SOMETHING important changed, or it wouldn’t have been a point of contention leading the Governor to veto a passed bill and the Legislature to override the veto.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

I so totally want this in place at my state.

    I’m guessing you’re a parent and/or teacher. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      This guy is a teacher and I think teaching the students to cower in the corner is nuts. A frequently a person with mass-shooting-intentions offs them self as soon as they encounter somebody with a gun. The quote attributed to Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II is something about ‘There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.’ So should be schools and every place innocent Americans gather.

      On another note, the theater which posted “No Guns” signs and then had James Holmes shooting them up, will have to stand trial. They asked to have the lawsuit against them dismissed on grounds they could not have reasonably foreseen the shooting. What did they think was going to happen?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | September 14, 2014 at 4:06 am

      Heck I am a school nurse and I want it in place in my state.

        Sharpshooter in reply to Gremlin1974. | September 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

        I’m a parent whose youngest “kid” is 28 and I want it.

        I just hope the training is suitably intense; I find CCW classes roughly “Better then nothing”. I’d like to see the old military “Kill or be Killed” course.

I think the teachers’ guns should be kept in a safe in the room with trigger lock and taken home at the end of the day, if deciding to bring weapons to school. I don’t think the chance of an accident is super high, but it is higher than normal, as is the chance of a student grabbing the gun and going rogue.

There are a lot of leftist pitfalls to worry about here.

For example, what will the press paint the story as if a teacher has to shoot a student in class who was trying to injure or kill him/her?

There’s already been one accident on a college campus where a professor shot himself in the foot. That, of course, has sent the detractors of such movements into their usual frenzies.

    Milwaukee in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 13, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    “I think the teachers’ guns should be kept in a safe in the room with trigger lock and taken home at the end of the day, if deciding to bring weapons to school. “

    Were I to be on the defensive because of an active shooter in my school, I sure as heck don’t want to be messing with opening a safe and removing a trigger lock. I say hydrate regularly so as to avoid muscle cramps in the shooting finger*. Gun control should be about aiming carefully and only having the finger on the trigger when necessary.

    As for security guards, well bad guys know who they are and probably where. The Columbine shooters knew the security guy was not in the building when they started shooting.

    *Personally, I have Never-Ever had a muscle cramp in the muscles in my trigger finger. Never=Ever.

    Phillep Harding in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Defensive firearms should always be carried, not left in a purse, backpack, briefcase, or safe.

    Best? Concealed so no one knows who is carrying. At least to start with.

    IMO.

“I think the teachers’ guns should be kept in a safe in the room with trigger lock and taken home at the end of the day”

Yeah, just like there are padlocks on the fire alarms. Brilliant.

“what will the press paint the story as if a teacher has to shoot a student in class who was trying to injure or kill him/her?”

The press will do what it always does–whore itself to Progressive fascism.

Personally, _I_ call THAT a good shoot. What do YOU call it?

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    I’d call that a “good shoot”, as well.

    My high school faculty ran the gamut of sizes, and many of the teachers – especially the female teachers – were significantly smaller than many of the male students – especially the athletes. To say there was a disparity of size and/or ability would be an understatement. (This was true in my middle school, as well, albeit to a lesser extent.)

    If a teacher is forced to defend him/her self with lethal force against a student and can demonstrate all the elements of self-defense, why should that be different from defending him/her self from a anyone else?

It is unsound to assert “[o]bviously SOMETHING important changed”, or the Governor would not have vetoed the bill. There of course may be political implications, even if the bill achieves nothing substantive. One might characterize much of the law regulating firearms as not achieving much substantively.

The Governor’s veto message asserts the Governor “ha[s] consistently opposed the arming of teachers as a means to keep schools safe…. T[he] bill, which would create a new mechanism for arming teachers, would not make schools safer.”

The Governor’s message failed to address the regulatory framework pre-existing the bill’s enactment. Mo. Rev. Stat. 571.107 previously provided State limits on the carrying of concealed firearms on school property could be removed by local officials for persons with concealed carry permits. One can read about training previously provided by Shield Solutions to some, and perhaps assess whether the bill is likely to provide materially enhanced alternatives to schools.

One of the more significant provisions of the bill provides a new section 21.750.3(2)(c), stating: “In the absence of any reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity, no person carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm shall be disarmed or physically restrained by a law enforcement officer unless under arrest.”

    Phillep Harding in reply to Prof. Barondes. | September 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Oh, my. A “No disarm” provision? Mixed feelings on that.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Phillep Harding. | September 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      Uhh, read that again. No disarm “In the absence of any reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity”, so they can’t disarm someone for the bull crap reason of “officer safety” that has been commonly used to disarm persons that have done nothing wrong.

      The reason of “officer safety” is basically an accusation that a completely law abiding person is a danger to an officer simply because he is carrying, that is a dangerous attitude.

      Note that with this wording they can still disarm you just for something as silly as Jaywalking.

    Sharpshooter in reply to Prof. Barondes. | September 20, 2014 at 9:23 am

    If memory serves, that Governor is the same Gov. Nixon that whored himself all over the Ferguson case.

“It is unsound to assert “[o]bviously SOMETHING important changed”, or the Governor would not have vetoed the bill.”

Then you go on to point out many areas in which something important DID change as a result of the override of the veto of SB656.

🙂

Did I miss your point?

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Indeed you did miss the point.

You linked the veto to something important having changed. The important revision I noted is not the claimed basis for the veto. In fact, the veto message references only the school protection officer provisions. So, although you may have ventured into reaching a correct conclusion–that the bill does make material changes–the referenced rationale is incorrect.

Understanding your comment’s rationale, provided for the conclusion, is not a proper basis for the conclusion, in lieu of leaving your readers without a more complete understanding, I provided it.

This bill received a material amount of local publicity. Some attention has been paid to matters other than the school protection office provisions, such as the change in age for permits, which is mention in the blog. Yet little was made of the provision I referenced concerning disarming citizens.

I thought your readers might be interested in observations revealed by a more complete reading of the bill. Hence I provided the observation as to a relevant substantive change that did not receive much attention, even though one not one referenced as a basis for the veto.

“Understanding your comment’s rationale, provided for the conclusion, is not a proper basis for the conclusion, in lieu of leaving your readers without a more complete understanding, I provided it.”

Haha, if that’s the language you speak in, I’ll leave you to it. Good luck! 🙂

(Might want to fix the grammar, though.)

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

This law is a good start. Now we need to eliminate “Gun Free Zones” or, as the psycho community calls them, “Free-Fire Hunting Zones”. Those stupid signs are the exact opposite of a deterrent; I’ve never understood the thinking (???) behind this awful idea.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Walker Evans. | September 14, 2014 at 1:18 am

    The result of ignorance about weapons, deterence, etc., anti-gun laws and Gun Free Zones are about helping those ignorant folks feel good about themselves and how safe they’ve made the school now.

    They serve the same purpose as the tinfoil hats in the movie Signs.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Walker Evans. | September 14, 2014 at 4:10 am

    I started using the phrase “Victim Rich Environment” to replace “Gun Free Zone” after the Terrorist Attack on Fort Hood.

Though this bill is a slight positive, in terms of relaxation of firearms regulation, it is really no big deal. I’ll explain.

In reference to the armed teachers portion, the school district has always had that option. School districts could not only hire and train people for the specific job of armed school security, they could, and still can, allow any concealed carry permit holder, who they chose, to carry in school facilities, without any additional training. This was already existing law. So, the addition of the language in the bill is not only more restrictive, but it sets up a conflict with the language which allows the school system to allow untrained permit holders to carry, if they are employees of the school system. It also does not require individual school systems to designate and train such school security officers. In other words, a school system can simply ignore the new wording of the statute and maintain the status quo. The bill does grant the school security officer the power to physically detain people on campus. Unfortunately it does not grant them, or the school system for which they work, from immunity from civil liability for what is essentially an arrest. So, is this a positive or a negative?

Now to the open carry of firearms in incorporated areas with an ordinance against such carry. Missouri has long been a traditional open carry state. It has been legal to openly carry a firearms, without a permit, anywhere within the state, except where local ordinances prohibit it. When the preemption statute was passed a few years ago, it specifically allowed such ordinances to continue to exist and future ordinances to be enacted. Now we come to the present. What the Legislature did is not eliminate local open carry ordinances. All it did was to allow those people holding a concealed carry permit to openly carry a firearm in localities with an open carry ordinance. And, they are required to produce their permit at anytime at the request of a law enforcement officer. So, if one is being stopped and has to produce a concealed carry permit whenever he is openly carrying, what is the advantage to the carrier? Not much.

So, bottom line here. How much will this bill really change anything? We’ll have to wait and see, won’t we?

    “”So, the addition of the language in the bill is not only more restrictive, but it sets up a conflict with the language which allows the school system to allow untrained permit holders to carry, if they are employees of the school system.”

    Why is this a conflict? Do not the two means of lawful carry simply exist in parallel? Does 656 repeal the prior statutory language?

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Both the language relating to people with a concealed carry permit being allowed to carry into a school, with the permission of school officials and the language creating and defining “school protection officers” exists simultaneously in the same statute [it is shown in the copy of the bill that you posted here]. At the present time, it is legal for a school administrator or school board to allow any person, holding a valid concealed carry permit to carry a firearm into a school, in Missouri. Whether this will still be possible, after the date of affect for this bill arrives, is unknown.

      Now, the confusion comes in with regard to whether an employee, who has the permission of school officials to carry a concealed firearm on school property, pursuant to the possession of a concealed carry permit, would have to be considered a school protection officer and subject to the required training, for that position, or not. In other words, does the establishment of this class of individual, which will likely require a much higher degree of training than that needed to qualify for the issuance of a concealed carry permit, require that any school employee given permission to carry a firearm on school grounds be designated a school protection officer or not? A question not answered in the bill.

      Also, in order for a school protection officer to carry a weapon concealed, in a school, that person must also hold a concealed carry permit, in addition to the training required for the position. Then there is the language allowing school protection officers to detain people on school grounds. How will this play out, liability wise?

      Interesting situation, no?

“Whether this will still be possible, after the date of affect for this bill arrives, is unknown.”

Unknown? Either it’s been revoked, made illegal, or not. One might as well say that it’s “unknown” if I can walk down the sidewalk. Again, it was possible before, I see no reason why it’s not possible now. The two can exist in parallel. Where does the current legislation repeal the prior legislation?

“Now, the confusion comes in with regard to whether an employee, who has the permission of school officials to carry a concealed firearm on school property, pursuant to the possession of a concealed carry permit, would have to be considered a school protection officer and subject to the required training, for that position, or not. ”

You yourself already conceded in a prior post that there IS NO REQUIREMENT. The whole thing is voluntary.

“In other words, does the establishment of this class of individual, which will likely require a much higher degree of training than that needed to qualify for the issuance of a concealed carry permit, require that any school employee given permission to carry a firearm on school grounds be designated a school protection officer or not? A question not answered in the bill.”

Bills don’t “answer questions.” Is there ANYTHING in 656 that requires school personnel previously authorized to carry on school grounds to now be UNAUTHORIZED if they don’t get additional training? Please show me where the bill says THAT.

“How will this play out, liability wise?”

Liability issues are always in play until ruled upon. The same would be true if 656 were never passed, never vetoed, never passed again over the veto. So, totally irrelevant to 656 as a particular bill.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Though the current legislation does not repeal the previous statutory language allowing school administrators to simply authorize any concealed permit holder that they choose to carry a firearm on school property, it creates a specific class of school system employee who is required to obtain additional training to be allowed to carry firearms on school property and be registered with the state, the school protection officer. As current statute does not require any training beyond that needed for the acquisition of a concealed carry permit, for carry on school campuses, it can be strongly argued that the Legislature intended to require that school employees, who were armed on campus, be given additional training for compliance with higher standards then the general public. Otherwise the entire concept of a school protection officer is unnecessary and so is that portion of the bill. Right?

    It is true that the whole program is voluntary, on the part of a school system. So is the current system of authorizing specific holders of a concealed carry permit to carry on campus. And, there is nothing in current statute which does not allow the school system to require additional training for those allowed to carry firearms on campus. Also, if school systems are reluctant to authorize the carry of firearms on campus now, there is no reason why they would not be just as reluctant after the law changes.

    Look, this legislation, though it may make pro-firearm advocates feel good, actually does little for the relaxation of firearms restrictions and, in some cases, may actually increase the restrictions on lawful firearms carry.

    It allows concealed carry permit holders to openly carry in jurisdictions where ordinances prohibit such carry. But, it does not curtail the ability of law enforcement to stop any person openly carrying a firearm and demanding that they produce a permit and identification. So, a person has the option of wandering around being stopped constantly for exhibiting a firearm or concealing it and going about his business largely unmolested. And, as concealed carry is allowed in the same areas, open carry does not provide a self defense measure, carry of a firearm, which does not already exist. It would have been much simpler to simply extend preemption to render all local ordinances null and void and allow open carry as it is allowed throughout the rest of the state. As such carry is unlicensed, there would be no viable reason to stop someone who was openly carrying to check for the possession of a permit.

    It set up a special class of school employee who is required to have additional training and be registered with the State, in order to legally carry firearms on a school campus. This, of course was totally unnecessary, as current statutory language allows a school district or its administrators to authorize any concealed carry permit holder to carry a firearm on campus, without additional training or registration with a state agency. It also gave this class of employee detention powers which amount to arrest. This requires additional training and indemnity to protect the school system from liability for unlawful detention.

    So, again, exactly what is so great about this bill?

      “it can be strongly argued that the Legislature intended to require that school employees, who were armed on campus, be given additional training for compliance with higher standards then the general public”

      If that’s what the 656 intended, it would have been child’s play to have the statute simply say that.

      Nowhere in the 656 does it impose a new mandatory training requirement upon the prior means of lawfully carrying concealed on campus. Nowhere.

      That doesn’t strike me as a “strong argument” for an additional mandatory training requirement.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Arguing Legislative intent is always interesting. In the case of this bill, it can be argued that the legislature intended to require that school employees receive additional training and be registered with the state in order to be authorized to carry firearms in a school. As the statutes exist at the present time, no such advanced training is required, though it is not prohibited either. So, if the Legislature did not intend for school employees to have additional training in order to carry a firearm in a school why have this language at all?

      Prof. Barondes in reply to Mac45. | September 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Mac45:

      You write:

      “Also, if school systems are reluctant to authorize the carry of firearms on campus now, there is no reason why they would not be just as reluctant after the law changes.”

      This statutory provision represents an attempt to facilitate the presence of persons with more training than that needed for a ccw permit.

      Some school districts wanted to have some armed personnel but found unsatisfactory merely authorizing a ccw permit holder to carry. So, a number recently engaged a firm, Shield Solutions, to provide training.
      See, e.g., http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-and-friends/blog/2014/06/23/missouri-training-teachers-carry-concealed-weapons-classroom.

      It was not inexpensive.

      I do not know the relative importance in the decision to engage a third party of (i) liability issues and (ii) a need for greater training, independent of liability issues. However, press reports state:

      “It[, Shield Solutions,] is the only training course approved by the Missouri United School Insurance Council (MUSIC), which provides insurance for about 87% of school districts in the state.”
      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/19/teachers-lesson-plans-guns/14244113/

      The story goes-on to note the arrangements with Shield Solutions contemplate the individuals being employees of the third party, Shield Solutions:

      “Once they go through the training and they qualify, then they are essentially an employee of Shield Solutions,” Martin said. “I provide workman’s comp insurance and liability insurance for them.”

      I cannot say whether the alternative arrangements this aspect of the bill is designed to foster will prove to be a helpful alternative to what Shield Solutions offers. Nevertheless, one can easily envision a rational statutory approach in which the state wanted to facilitate presence of ccw permit holders with enhanced training without preventing the presence of permit holders without that training.

        This beautifully illustrates my point. Here the schools are authorizing a third party to provide armed security personnel without the necessity of establishing a special class of employee, the school protection officer. In other words, that part of this bill in unnecessary.

        This third party security solution is in use across the country. In most cases, local school boards contract with local police departments and sheriff’s offices to provide sworm law enforcement personnel, school resource officers, for the purpose. This shifts much, if not most of the liability for the actions of these personnel to their employer and away from the school. By, using its own employees, for these purposes, the school system assumes all liability for any actions of its personnel. The bill does nothing to provide any immunity against liability to the school, if they use indigenous personnel.

Since I have no children of school age (that I know of) and even if I did, they wouldn’t go to a public school, I have no dog in that fight and could care less.

To the point in question :

“Now to the open carry of firearms in incorporated areas with an ordinance against such carry. Missouri has long been a traditional open carry state. It has been legal to openly carry a firearms, without a permit, anywhere within the state, except where local ordinances prohibit it. When the preemption statute was passed a few years ago, it specifically allowed such ordinances to continue to exist and future ordinances to be enacted. Now we come to the present. What the Legislature did is not eliminate local open carry ordinances. All it did was to allow those people holding a concealed carry permit to openly carry a firearm in localities with an open carry ordinance. And, they are required to produce their permit at anytime at the request of a law enforcement officer. So, if one is being stopped and has to produce a concealed carry permit whenever he is openly carrying, what is the advantage to the carrier? Not much.

Not much?

Bullshit.

VERY much.

This eliminates the very likely possibility of being harassed, cited and even arrested by local police for open carry merely because a gust of wind blew a jacket open and a gun was seen, or by unknowingly “printing”, then have someone get their panties in a wad, vapor lock and dial 911.

Yep, 911 can still be dialed and the popo will still respond, but 1: With a CCW there better be no arrest or even citation and 2: The popo will not legally be able to disarm the CCWer.

If either occurs, I foresee pre-trial settlements of civil lawsuits that have many zeros in the amount.

Harassment and arrests have happened in Missouri Mr. Mac, and now this revised statute along with the passage of amendment 5 (which just possibly may be a vehicle for a suit to make Missouri another ‘Constitutional Carry’ state) is another way to tell TPTB in the Governor’s mansion in Jefferson City and the city halls in Kansas City, Saint Louis, Springfield, Lake Ozark et al. where to go and what to do to themselves on the way there.

It’s been a long 40 year fight for RKBA in Missouri and it’s really only begun to pay off in the last 10 years.

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