America

Gun Owners Would Be 'Protected Minority Group' Under Missouri Bill

"Legislation that would add gun owners to the state's list of protected minority groups" has passed the Republican-controlled Missouri House, our colleagues at St. Louis Public Radio report.

The legislation, which is posted here, would make it a crime for an employer to fire or refuse to hire anyone who "has a concealed carry endorsement or uses his or her firearm for lawful purposes."

It would not require employers to "allow the carrying and use of weapons on their property."

The bill's sponsor, Republican state Rep. Wanda Brown, says she was inspired in part by the story of the owner of a meat-packing plant in St. Louis who says he was told that federal inspectors wouldn't come to his facility because he carries a gun.

Democrats argued against the legislation. One, openly gay Rep. Mike Colona, said the state House has put "protecting gun ownership above discriminating against somebody because of their sexual orientation."

The state Senate, also GOP-controlled, will now take up the measure. Gov. Jay Nixon, however, is a Democrat.

(H/T to Alan Greenblatt.)

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