Gun-free zones at schools, bars, sporting events, hospitals and churches would be largely obsolete if Rep. Drew Springer has his way.
Springer, R-Muenster, has authored a bill — laid out Tuesday before a House committee — that he hopes eliminates most restrictions on where the state’s nearly 826,000 concealed handgun license holders can carry their weapons.
He said his bill would advance the rights of “responsible, law-abiding citizens.”
Even in a gun-friendly state — and Legislature — it’s unclear what kind of support there would be for such a far-reaching bill. And the effort Tuesday received stiff opposition from hospital officials and pastors, in addition to the usual gun control advocates.
But the early attention paid to the bill nonetheless underlines the Legislature’s outsized focus this year on firearms legislation.
“What a difference a session makes,” Springer said, noting the long list of people signed up to testify for or against the bill.
Much of the emphasis this year has been put on the open carry and campus carry bills, which have both passed the Senate. But dozens of other bills have been filed that would likewise loosen restrictions on the state’s firearms laws.
The Senate, for instance, approved a bill Tuesday that would allow people to use a lower caliber weapon to qualify for a concealed handgun license. And the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee heard testimony on a litany of other gun bills.
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