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Last week, Missouri Democrats introduced a bill that would ban semi-automatic rifles and give law-abiding gun owners 90 days to turn in their firearms to law enforcement or become felons. This week, a GOP state representative has turned the tables to make a point.
Rep. Mike Leara (R-St. Louis) introduced legislation Monday that would make "any member of the general assembly who proposes legislation that further restricts an individual's right to bear arms" guilty of a class D felony.
The entire bill, HB 633, can be read on the Missouri House of Representatives website.
While his opponents will surely argue that his position is extreme, Rep. Leara told TheBlaze on Tuesday that he is under no illusion that the bill will pass. He says he introduced the legislation to make a point after Democrats proposed an alarming gun confiscation bill last week.
"It's outrageous," Leara said. "I have received an overwhelming response of about 100 to 1 to stop this legislation."
Under the gun control bill, owners of semi-automatic rifles would have 90 days to give up their guns. Those who refuse to comply would be prosecuted by police and charged with a class C felony.
Here are some of the provisions found in the Missouri Democrats' bill:
(1) Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the state of Missouri;
(2) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable; or
(3) Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction, subject to specific agency regulations.
5. Unlawful manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of an assault weapon or a large capacity magazine is a class C felony.
Leara called the gun control bill wholly "unconstitutional," adding that there is no legitimate rationale for proposing such a law. He also said the primary sponsor of the bill, Rep. Rory Ellinger (D), calls himself a constitutional lawyer, believe it or not.
“I filed HB 633 as a matter of principle and as a statement in defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Missourians. I have no illusions about the bill making it through the legislative process, but I want it to be clear that the Missouri House will stand in defense of the people’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms," Leara told TheBlaze, reading from a prepared statement.
Leara said Democrats' gun confiscation bill is currently in the Missouri House speaker's office and awaiting assignment to a committee. Similar bills have been proposed in California and Minnesota. Further, lawmakers in Washington state have proposed a gun control bill that would allow police to inspect the homes of owners of semi-automatic rifles once a year.