to inform schools if they have guns in the home.
"Since August of last year, there have been more than a dozen incidents involving teenagers and guns in just the 14th Senate district alone," she said. "In most cases, the guns have been stolen from an unsecured place in the home and then used in robberies, carjackings and even murder."
Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, has filed a bill that would close the "gun show loophole," which allows certain sales at gun shows to be made without background checks or waiting periods.
"Fixing loopholes does nothing to lawful gun owners," she said. "These efforts are common sense."
Nationally, the debate over gun regulation has mostly split along long-standing political divides -- states with strict gun laws want to go further, and those with more lax regulations are looking for alternative means to address gun safety and mass shootings.
In Missouri, several House Republicans, including House Speaker Tim Jones of Eureka, and Majority Floor Leader John Diehl of Town and Country, have signed onto legislation that would allow teachers and other school administrators to carry concealed firearms on school property with the proper licensing.
The bill prompted Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat who cut the ribbon at the opening of the National Rifle Association's convention in St. Louis last year, to send a letter to school district superintendents expressing his opposition to the effort.
Meanwhile, a bill in the Senate would require school districts and charter schools to train teachers and other employees how to respond in dangerous situations. It also would require schools to teach the NRA's Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program or a similar program to all first-graders.
Jones said he hadn't reviewed all of the gun legislation that has been filed this session.
"I support the Second Amendment," he said. "We're going to vet all these issues."
He has asked Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, to take the lead on gun legislation in the House this session and told reporters to talk to Riddle for information on the chamber's plans for firearms bills. Riddle didn't respond to requests for an interview last week. A legislative assistant said she was busy with meetings.
Riddle is a member of the NRA and has been one of the chamber's leaders in proposing gun-friendly legislation in recent years, including the effort to lower the concealed carry age limit.
Newman, who entered the political arena as an advocate against gun violence, said she thinks the NRA has been a major force in promoting gun-friendly legislation in Missouri and nationally.
"We're not safe anywhere because of the NRA's successful campaign to tie everything to the Second Amendment," she said.
Missouri voters rejected a 1999 attempt to create a concealed carry permit, but the state Legislature undid the vote four years later -- paving the way for concealed firearms and marking a key victory for gun rights advocates.
Lawmakers successfully passed the Castle Doctrine law in 2007, allowing Missouri residents to use deadly force on intruders. The NRA hailed that year's session as "one of the most successful sessions in recent memory."
Three years later, the Legislature broadened the Castle statute to apply to any property invasion -- not just homes.
In the years since, lawmakers have promoted pro-gun legislation in several measures, including a law last year that created an NRA specialty license plate and another that established a path for people who have previously been barred from possessing guns to get their gun rights back through the courts if they can show that they "will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety."
The Missouri House in 2012 passed a bill that would have protected gun owners from employment discrimination, but the proposal didn't pass the Senate. Another bill debated then would have required that private companies allow their employees to keep guns in their cars. A House committee considered legislation that would have allowed guns on public transportation in St. Louis and Kansas City.
A law that outlaws extra sales taxes on firearms and ammunition passed in 2011, as did legislation allowing lawmakers and their staffers to carry guns at the Capitol if they have concealed carry credentials.
It's not known how many legislators carry guns in the Capitol. Concealed carry status in Missouri is protected under privacy measures, and it's illegal to make public lists of gun owners who have the designation. When asked, some lawmakers declined to say whether they carry firearms.
Burlison is one of several lawmakers who have hung signs on their office windows that say: "Notice: Lawfully concealed weapons are encouraged on these premises." He said he feels safer knowing that lawmakers are allowed to have guns.
"In the Capitol building, we don't have security everywhere. We don't have metal detectors or gun checks," he said.
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