Missouri lawmaker submits bill to protect gun owners

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The day before President Obama is expected to announce new gun regulations, a Missouri lawmaker has filed his own bill to protect gun owners.

Republican Rep. Casey Guernsey of Bethany calls it the Firearms Protection Act. He wants to make it a felony for state or federal government to take away legal guns from eligible owners.

"I filed legislation today to protect our basic Second Amendment right," Guernsey said. "We've got to do what we need to do considering the discussions coming out of Washington."

Guernsey said the bill is modeled after similar proposed legislation in Wyoming. He started planning it after President Obama's re-election.

"That's what makes this bill so good. It puts Missouri - if passed - in a place where we can engage illegal activity on the part of the president," Guernsey said.

He said the bill has a lot of support, filling up every available spot for a co-sponsor.

"They're riding the tide of the debate," Metropolitan Community College - Penn Valley political science professor Deborah Scott said.

With a Republican super majority in the Legislature, Scott said this bill has strong early prospects.

"The question is, will they have a majority Republican support? And most likely, yes they will," Scott said.

But if the Firearms Protection Act becomes law, can it actually work as designed and trump federal regulations? Scott believes it can, pointing to the marijuana debate.

"Colorado and California, they went to the people. They took a vote and the people in that state made a decision," Scott said.

Firearms in general will be a big topic in Jefferson City this session. Bills dealing with guns in the classroom are also in circulation.

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