Under a proposed Missouri bill, businesses that implement gun-free zones would be held liable if a shooting occurred and disarmed law-abiding gun owners were injured.
A Republican lawmaker from O'Fallon has filed a bill that would allow law-abiding gun owners to sue businesses that ban firearms on their premises.
Rep.-elect Nick Schroer said his intent for this bill is similar to another he filed Thursday that would make it a hate crime to attack a police officer, firefighter or EMT because of their occupation. In both cases, the goal is deterrence.
The proposal, known as House Bill 96, which would apply when a person who is authorized to carry a firearm, is prohibited from doing so by a business and is then injured by another person or an animal.
If the injured person could otherwise have used a gun for self-defense, they could sue the business, which "assume(s) custodial responsibility for the safety and defense of any person" on their property who could carry.
In September, lawmakers overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's veto and passed laws that relax restrictions on carrying firearms and use of deadly force. Under the law, private property owners can post an 11-by-14 inch sign with one-inch letters to declare their premises as off-limits to concealed firearms.
There are a few hoops potential plaintiffs would have to hop through, Schroer said. For instance, felons who wouldn't be allowed to carry a firearm anyway wouldn't be allowed to sue, and the bill includes a two-year statute of limitations.
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