Proposed legislation would create Missouri Minutemen
JOPLIN, Mo. – A term harkening back to the Revolutionary War could be put to use in Missouri.
“It’s an avenue for people to volunteer to respond to a state emergency,” says Missouri Senator Bill White.
Legislation introduced in February by Senator Bill White would create the minutemen of the state. A registry of armed volunteers who the governor could put into action during times of state emergency, with the consent of a majority of the general assembly.
“I can see it as, you’re gonna be secondary to SEMA, or you’re gonna be distributing water, you’re gonna be protecting our water and food supplies. You may be assigned to work with the sheriff in your county,” says White. “These are law abiding residents of Missouri, and I think a lot of people would want an avenue to be able to step forward.”
White explains that the type of crisis he had in mind when introducing the bill is one of civilization altering magnitude — not something like a tornado, earthquake or flood.
“There’s a book out there called One Second After about an EMP attack, a large electromagnetic pulse. If you all of a sudden completely lose the electric grid in Missouri, that is an Armageddon type scenario, where your average every day citizen’s like, ‘Okay, I wanna help do something,'” explains White.
Volunteers would be require to supply their own firearms, ammunitions and other supplies, which would, from the time of signing up to be a volunteer, be considered property of the state.
An idea that the owner of Brandon’s Gun Trading Company in Joplin doesn’t like.
“That can be actually confiscated by this government body, and I can’t think of too many people that are gonna want that to happen,” says Brandon Spaugy, owner of Brandon’s Gun Trading Co.
White says the version of the bill currently available online isn’t the current version of the bill being considered. So there is an amendment included in the most recent version that would address that concern.
“We have a whole list of things. They cannot be taxed, cannot be seized, no registration requirements. We have a whole laundry list of things,” says White.
He also explains that since the firearms would be property of the state, it would help protect gun owners’ second amendment rights even from the federal government.
“The federal law is not nullified, it’s just not applicable. What we (the state) own the federal government can’t tax and control, and vice versa,” says White. “Taxing may become a big issue with some of the things going on in D.C. Looking at the bills that are proposed out there, it’s a method of control. If you have to pay, you know, a hundred dollars in taxes a year on something, and you own many of them that’s kind of a problem.”
White explains another amendment to the bill is changing the vote required for the Governor to put the minutemen into action. It’s been increased from 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the general assembly.
The first committee hearing for the bill is on March 30th.
You can read the full first version of Senate Bill 528 here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/21info/pdf-bill/intro/SB528.pdf