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Proposal ensures Missourians' guns during emergencies

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri House Thursday voted to make it illegal for police to seize firearms from people during a state of emergency.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Representative David Pearce of Warrensburg, who says it's in response to what happened in New Orleans nearly two years ago.

Days after Hurricane Katrina struck, police and deputies went door-to-door and confiscated guns and rifles from citizens. "We had overwhelming support," Pearce said Thursday of his legislation. "It passed the House 150-2; it passed in the Senate 30-4."

The bill has the backing of the National Rifle Association, which testified in favor of it during committee hearings.

"When people need protection it's in the time of emergency," Pearce added. "And that's just the opposite time of when weapons should be confiscated.

"And so people should have 2nd Amendment rights, and those should be protected in times of emergency."

The measure now goes to Governor Matt Blunt, who's expected to sign it into law.