Mo. lawmakers decide whether to allow citizens to carry guns without permit

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Gun rights take center stage Wednesday as Missouri lawmakers decide whether to allow citizens to carry a gun without getting a permit first.

Supporters say it will make it easier to protect your family while those against it argue it will put more lives in danger.

The mayor, the sheriff, the prosecutor are all against the bill. They believe allowing people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit or any training is a bad idea, and they want lawmakers to vote against this bill when they begin their special session Wednesday morning.

"With legislation, it should be how to make us safer. That question should be asked," Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker said. "Does this legislation make us safer? I haven't had a legislator in Jeff City tell us how it makes us safer. It doesn't and they don't even defend that point."

Mayor Sly James went to Twitter on this issue, "We absolutely cannot sit back and watch as lawmakers make it easier for criminals to commit slow motion mass murder."

The Mayor and law enforcement spoke at the Rose Brooks Center Tuesday to say the bill would put those who are abused and police officers in more danger because they believe it would make it easier for criminals to get guns.

"It takes away another layer of security and safety if they know the abusers can get access to a gun and carry one with no permits of any nature, " CEO of the Rose Brooks Center, Susan Miller, said. "It's really frightening."

Last year, the Jackson County Sheriff denied around 900 people who applied for a gun permit due to red flags in their background check. The new law would let people go around the application process and carry a gun without a permit, without submitting to a background check, and without taking any gun safety training.

Supporters of the bill say right now it’s too expensive and time consuming to get a permit, and they believe the new law will help people better protect themselves.

"This law would allow anybody to go get a gun, carry it and never have to fire the weapon until they think it's necessary to use it without any education whatsoever," Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp said. "This is a bad, bad bill."

Despite opposition, Republican lawmakers have vowed to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto on this issue, and they have the votes to do it.