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Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

During Campaign Stop in Springfield, Hanaway Announces Support for Constitutional Carry

Nataleigh Ross

Republican candidate for Missouri governor Catherine Hanawaysays she supports carriage of concealed weapons without a permit for law-abiding citizens.

The former federal prosecutor and Missouri House Speaker unveiled her stance at Cherokee Firearms on north Nationalin Springfield Thursday.

Hanaway applauded“constitutional-carry”legislation proposed this past session by Republican Rep. Eric Burlison.

“I think there’s a pretty good chance that the legislature may get it done before I get there; Eric has been a real leader on these issues. He‘s continued to build support. Many of them may get through the legislature next year, and if they do that is fantastic. If they don’t, we are going to get them done when I’m governor,”

Hanawaydid note her support of keeping theexisting permitting process to allow Missouri citizens to legally cross state lines with concealed weapons under current reciprocity agreements.

While in office, Hanawayinitially opposed a conceal-carry law, temporarily earning her a “D” rating from the NRA. She eventually voted in favor of the law, and saidthe original stance was in support of her district’s views on the issue at that time.

“I went to my constituents and said, look, if I become speaker we’re goingto move conceal-carry, I’mgoing to support it, I’mgoing to do everything to pass it, they still re-elected me. I then felt like I could go forward and both represent my district and what I had said to them and serve the views of the entire state,” she said.

Hanawayalso expressed support Thursday of increased penalties for felons in possession of firearms and increased penalties for armed criminal action. She proposes that Missouri increase armed criminal action penalties to five years for the first conviction and 10 years for a second or successive conviction, plus up the minimum punishment forviolent felons in possession of a firearmto five years imprisonment.

“I think we need to do two things; enforce the laws that are on the books and make sure the sentences sort of fit the crime.”

Hanaway believes one positive effect of these changes would be more support for police officers. She says that if police officers know that these laws will be fully enforced, she thinks there will be a reduction in police hesitance to confront crime.