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Don't even think of proposing new gun-control laws, legislator says

February 19, 2013|By Matt Pearce
  • A Missouri lawmaker has introduce legislation that would make it a felony to propose new gun-control laws.
A Missouri lawmaker has introduce legislation that would make it a felony… (Beatrice de Gea / Los Angeles…)

A conservative Missouri lawmaker has proposed a bill that would send his fellow lawmakers to prison if they propose more gun-control legislation.

H.B. 633, proposed by Mike Leara, a St. Louis County Republican, would make it a felony punishable with up to four years in prison for anyone who "proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States."

The Missouri representative's bill follows other proposed cantankerous legislation coming out of that state, where the state's House of Representatives passed a bill that could imprison government officials for up to a year if they enforced President Obama's Affordable Care Act. Another recent bill would have essentially severed Missouri from the federal government. Neither became law.

Leara has already issued a statement saying he introduced his gun bill as a "matter of principle" and said he had "no illusions" about it becoming law.

But the proposal has provoked some of his fellow lawmakers, including Democratic Rep. Stacey Newman, who has sponsored legislation that would make it a misdemeanor for Missourians to buy a gun without getting a background check.

"Counting on you all visiting me in prison re my background [check] bill," Newman tweeted Tuesday morning.

Fatal shootings in Missouri increased 34% in 2008 after the state repealed a law requiring gun buyers to get a license before purchase, according to research by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

Conservatives have vehemently opposed new gun-control proposals in Missouri.

matt.pearce@latimes.com

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