Although it may not seem like it, I truly do NOT enjoy confrontation and I'd much rather be celebrating wins like Representative Bill Hardwick brought us this week.
Rep Hardwick fought hard and did what most legislators just can't find the gumption to do - stand up to leadership and push back. I can't tell you how happy I am when I see this because it truly is a rare occasion and it needs to happen MUCH more often.
thank you, Representative bill hardwick!!
here's the story
Speaker of the House Dean Plocher apparently set this bill, HB 301, as one of his top priorities for this committee. There was even a work group meeting throughout the interim to pull it all together. Therefore, early on, Chair Lane Roberts (Republican from Jasper County) was prepared to bring it up and try to push it through. Mind you, both of these leaders are Republicans. They are supposed to be protecting our 2nd amendment rights according to the Constitution and the MO Republican platform.
But how many Republicans really pay attention to that?
Not many, unfortunately.
So Chair Roberts offers this bill (see page 15 lines 1-11) that would make it ILLEGAL for anyone under 18 to possess a firearm of ANY type.
HELLO!! Are you kidding me??
Do you have kids that hunt? Do they ever hunt on public land?
Do you have kids that like to go to the shooting range?
Excuse me, Rep Roberts... are you from Illinois!? Because I'm not sure what in the world you were thinking. I wonder if your Jasper County constituents know what the heck you've been up to this week. I can't even believe it.
But never fear, Missouri! It's Representative Bill Hardwick to the rescue!
Rep Hardwick gathered his troops, got the votes and offered an amendment that stripped that language right out of there... and our kids' gun rights were saved!
Truly, this is such a big deal and I can't thank Rep Hardwick enough. Standing against leadership isn't something these reps do on the regular. They are scared... and for good reason. See my earlier post about Rep McGaugh and the way she treated Rep Dan Stacy when he had the nerve to even ask questions about her bill. It's ridiculous the way both the "upper level" leadership as well as some committee chairs abuse their power.
I actually feel bad for them but they've GOT to start standing their ground. They get elected and probably most of them come up here with sincere high hopes of really making a difference. But the truth is I don't think they have any idea what they actually signed up for.
The House Rules and the power of leadership are stacked against them. The Speaker is in control of nearly every. single. step of legislation moving forward. His chosen chairman carry a portion of that power and do his bidding in most cases.
So what are they to do if they want to get something accomplished? They have to bow. They have to donate. They have to follow along.
They feel like they are forced to compromise. So they tow the line in hopes of getting something they really feel passionate about.
The crappy thing is that usually doesn't work anyway, but they still try.
but not this week, missouri! bill hardwick stood his ground!
Not once..but twice!
Earlier in the day, he led the way when the Chair's amendment to the original bill included a restriction on individuals to sell ammunition without being licensed by the Secretary of State to do so. For clarity, this would mean that if you had extra .22 shells and wanted to sell them to your neighbor because they ran out, you couldn't.
No joke. It's completely ridiculous, but I promise I'm telling the truth.
Chair Roberts says he's a Republican and a 2A defender but you sure wouldn't know it based on this hearing.
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft happened to be there and I was told he literally got up and walked out of the room in frustration. Kudos to Ashcroft for letting them know what he thought!
So, a BIG THANK YOU to Representative Hardwick! This is the kind of fighting we like to see! THIS is what we can get behind! THIS is what they are elected to do....PROTECT our freedom and push back government overreach.
Bill, if I see you this week, I might just hug you!!
To give more credit where it is due, we had a few others who also spoke up in the hearing on these issues or others to defend our 2A rights here in Missouri. Thanks, also, to these Missouri House Reps!!
Representative Chad Perkins
Representative Brian Sietz
Representative Lisa Thomas
Representative Justin Sparks
Representative Brad Banderman
Courage is contagious and I'm hoping the actions of these legislators sparks others to stand up even and especially if their Committee Chairs or even the Speaker or Floor Leader are in opposition.