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Missouri Bill Would Make Business Owners Liable For Gun Violence

Conservatives are split over a new bill set to be introduced by Missouri Representative Mike Moon in the state’s legislature. The measure in question would make businesses that prohibit concealed carriers from bringing their weapons on their premises liable in the event that said carriers are harmed in the event of a robbery or other violent act. Supporters of the bill believe it will guarantee firearms owners stronger protection while others fear it will encroach on the right of business owners to manage their property as they see fit:

“The bill, which would cover employees as well as customers, is raising concerns with some business owners, including those that allow weapons on the premises.

Moon’s bill would hold private businesses that prohibit guns liable for the safety of anyone who is legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon but is prevented from doing so by the business and who suffers injury or other “compensable” damage in an attack in which the permit holder could theoretically have defended himself if he had been allowed to keep his weapon on him.

The bill applies only to private, commercial businesses; banks, private residences and public buildings are not included. Businesses that do not explicitly post a notice prohibiting weapons would not be held liable, and the law would apply only to concealed-carry permit holders. People who do not have a concealed-carry permit and who are injured in the same attack would not be allowed to sue.

Moon said he feels the legislation is necessary because there is no “promise of success” for a person seeking to sue the perpetrator of an attack.

“Kind of where this thing started was with business owners who were adamantly opposed to those who carry firearms,” Moon said. “What would happen if a third party came on and committed a crime and there was bodily injuries sustained to the patrons? Who is liable? And as I’m talking to legal minds — attorneys particularly — apparently there’s still a lot of gray area there on who’s actually responsible. I believe that the third party is responsible but apparently there are some unanswered questions and so hopefully this bill will reveal some of those.”