The conservative backlash to the specter of new gun control measures has reached new heights, with a Missouri state lawmaker pushing to make it illegal for his colleagues to even propose gun control laws.
State Rep. Mike Leara, a St. Louis Republican, introduced legislation Monday that would make it a felony for his fellow lawmakers to introduce any bill “that further restricts an individual’s right to bear arms. Leara’s legislation faces uncertain prospects and would risk a First Amendment challenge even if enacted. But he called the measure necessary in the wake of gun control measures being floated after the massacre of 20 children in Newtown, Conn. late last year. He specifically cited a recently introduced bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
“We seem to be having a lot of people willing to further restrict our constitutional rights and take our rights,” Leara told The Huffington Post. “It is a push-back to the people who don’t believe in our constitutional rights. There have to be consequences to removing our constitutional rights.”
Democratic State Rep. Stephen Webber called Leara’s bill a blatant assault on free speech rights.
“I find it ironic that people are willing to sacrifice the First Amendment at the altar of the Second,” Webber said. “You don’t make it a crime to bring up an idea.”