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Looser Gun Laws, Stricter Voter ID Laws in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) — The Missouri legislature used its Republican supermajority to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto to significantly loosen the state's gun laws and to strengthen voting requirements.

The two overrides highlighted 13 total overrides of Nixon vetoes on Wednesday, adding to Nixon's record as the most overridden governor in state history. Heading into the day, Nixon, a Democrat, had been overridden 83 times, nearly four times the amount of overrides than all other Missouri governors combined since 1820, when Missouri was still a territory.

The gun legislation would allow most adults to carry concealed weapons without needing a permit. Effective Jan. 1, allows people to carry hidden guns anywhere they can currently carry weapons openly. People who choose to still get a concealed-carry permit could potentially carry their weapons into places off-limits to others and could take them to states with reciprocal agreements.

Missouri will join 10 other states with similar laws, according to the National Rifle Association, which supported the legislation.

The bill also would create a "stand-your-ground" right, meaning people don't have a duty to retreat from danger any place they are legally entitled to be present. It also expands the "castle doctrine" by allowing invited guests such as baby sitters to use deadly force if confronted in homes.

The elections law change would require people to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls starting in 2017, if voters also approve a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

Both measures passed with more than the required two-thirds majority in each chamber as Republicans shut off Democratic discussion and enacted the laws on largely party-line votes, according to the Associated Press.

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