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Nixon OKs Concealed Gun Bill; Vetoes Election Bill

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon  (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Younger Missouri residents will be allowed to get a permit for a concealed gun in Missouri under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Jay Nixon, but he rejected other bills dealing with elections and billboards.

In all, Nixon signed 22 bills into law while vetoing seven others. The Democratic governor’s office announced its actions on the legislation shortly before 5 p.m. on Friday.

Among the highest-profile bills signed into law was a concealed gun measure. It sets the state’s minimum age for getting a concealed gun permit at 21 years old, eliminating the previous age limit of 23 set by the Legislature in 2003 when lawmakers overrode the veto of then-Gov. Bob Holden and enacted the concealed-carry law.

Most states allow residents to carry a concealed gun, and Missouri’s age requirement had been the highest in the nation, according to the National Rifle Association. Many states also have an age limit of 21, though others allow permits to be issued to people as young as 18 years old and a few allow concealed guns to be carried without a permit.

Supporters of lowering the age limit say letting people carry a concealed gun allows individuals to protect themselves. The measure won final approval in the Republican-controlled Legislature in the last hour of the session that ended this past May.

Besides lowering the age limit, the bill also changes a training requirement for getting the permit. People now will be required to shoot at least 50 rounds with a revolver and a semiautomatic pistol instead of a total of 50 rounds with any handgun.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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