A Missouri bill to stop bills that force others not to introduce certain kind of bills? Almost.
Representative Stacey Newman, a Democrat who has been very vocal on gun control, has collected thousands of signatures on a petition to urge lawmakers and legislative leaders to quit introducing pro-gun publicity stunt bills that she says are a distraction to the serious efforts to reduce gun violence. Her main target? Republican Representative Mike Leara and his bill to criminalize lawmakers like Newman who even propose gun control.
"We're asking the legislature to stop it with the insane bills," Newman tells Daily RFT. "Let's stop the nonsense and let's get the attention back on things that can actual save lives."
And why not promote this cause through legislation?
Newman, as you might recall, was the representative last year who proposed a bill to restrict vasectomies, her clever contribution to the birth control debate and response to Republican lawmakers trying to restrict abortions. Wasn't that bill a symbolic one to get her pro-choice message across?
"There's still some crazy abortion stuff," Newman says, noting that there are lawmakers this session trying to control women's health care choices with more anti-abortion bills. "Nobody laughs at that."
Still, she decided that she didn't want to add another publicity stunt bill to the mix this session with legislation that would stop representatives like Leara from proposing bills that would stop her from proposing gun control bills (though, we admit, that would be pretty funny).
"That probably would've ended all my credibility," she jokes. "I have a line... And I want to keep this serious."
And efforts to reduce gun violence are no laughing matter, she says.
That's why she gathered more than 2,100 signatures on a petition she delivered to Missouri House Speaker Timothy Jones as part of a Missouri Moms Demand Action effort.
"This is about making a statement," says Newman, who has introduced and is continuing to promote her bill for universal background checks. "We all know the validity of this kind of legislation [to criminalize gun control proposals]. Obviously, this bill will not be signed by the governor."
Continue for more of our interview with Stacey Newman and the petition.