Anti-gun language has been attached to a Second Amendment bill sponsored by State Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, the National Rifle Association said this week.
Nieves, who is known as an ardent supporter of Second Amendment rights, said the NRA is spreading inaccurate information about the amendment to his bill.
The amendment would require people to report a stolen firearm within 72 hours of becoming aware of the theft.
It appears that the NRA is confusing the amendment to his bill with a separate and more stringent bill sponsored by Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, it was reported.
Nasheed has sponsored a bill that would create fines and misdemeanor charges for failing to report lost or stolen firearms.
But Nieves said the amendment to his bill would not impose penalties or require people to report lost firearms, just stolen ones.
The amendment to his bill only says that a person is required to report the theft of a firearm within 72 hours of becoming aware of the theft.
Nieves wants the NRA to “clear up the confusion that they have created.
“What this information from the NRA is purporting is simply not true,” he said, adding that he thinks the NRA accidentally misinterpreted the amendment to his bill.
The NRA could not be reached for comment to see if it would issue a correction.
Requiring people to report lost or stolen firearms would create a “defacto” gun registry in Missouri, according to the NRA. But Nasheed said that is a “myth.”
The NRA worries that Nasheed’s legislation would further punish victims of gun theft.
“Police resources should be focused on finding real criminals responsible, not further victimizing those who have had not only their belongings stolen, but their sense of security and privacy as well,” an NRA news release states.
Nasheed has worked with Nieves to get her amendment added to his Second Amendment Preservation Act.
Nieves and Nasheed held a joint press conference in Nieves’ office on Thursday morning at the state Capitol in Jefferson City.
Nasheed told reporters that the amendment to Nieves’ bill is “the right thing to do. We have murders each and every day due to guns in the city of St. Louis, and many guns are stolen each and every day in the city of St. Louis.”
She said she is “appalled” that the NRA would oppose the amendment since that organization is supposed to promote gun safety.
Nasheed also commended Nieves for not backing down to pressure from the NRA’s opposition.
“He did the right thing by allowing for the amendment to go on, and I stand with him only on the amendment,” she said.
Nieves acknowledged that it is “very rare that he and Nasheed agree on issues. But he said during the legislative process both sides of the aisle must work together.
“It’s not that I’m raising this amendment on a flagpole and saying it’s the greatest thing in the world,” Nieves said.
He added that he would not fight hard to keep Nasheed’s amendment on the bill if it goes to a committee.
In a news release, Nieves said he does not even think Nasheed’s amendment to his bill will be in the final version of the legislation.
Nieves said his bill is arguably the strongest piece of Second Amendment legislation in the country.
He said he still loves the NRA and that the organization has endorsed him in campaigns. He added that he thinks he has a lot of “street cred” when it comes to NRA issues.
Nasheed’s amendment was attached to Nieves’ Second Amendment Preservation Act bill.
The bill says that federal gun laws that infringe on Missourians’ rights to bear arms should be declared void in Missouri.
Moreover, it says that federal agents who attempt to enforce such laws in the state could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
The bill contains other provisions as well such as allowing school districts to designate teacher or administrators as school protection officers who are authorized to carry concealed firearms.