A Republican state legislator in Missouri has posted a video to YouTube that shows local gun range customers shooting at a copy of a bill that would enact an assault weapons ban in the state.
State Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Springfield) posted the video Monday to demonstrate his opposition to a proposed assault weapons ban introduced by Rep. Rory Ellinger (D-University City) earlier this month. Ellinger's bill would prohibit the manufacturing and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips in Missouri and require those owning assault weapons to turn in the guns within 90 days of the bill taking effect.
The Riverfront Times first reported on Burlison's video Tuesday morning. In it, Burlison is shown interviewing people at a local gun shop about Ellinger's proposal. Those interviewed by Burlison say on tape that the bill is not needed and that possessing assault weapons and high-capacity magazines should not be a Class C felony in the Show Me State.
"It is confusing," an unidentified woman tells Burlison in the video. "It is too much red tape. They will make my grandpa turn in his guns and it's crazy. A felon -- it's nuts."
A man working at the gun store shows Burlison several guns, one of which he says is the "bugaboo rifle" Ellinger is targeting. Another man in the shooting range then tells Burlison that the bill makes for great target practice and holds up a copy of the bill riddled with bullet holes. Another man is shown firing at the bill, then Burlison holds his own copy of the shot-up legislation, smiles and laughs. "You're right, it does make for a good bill," he says.
Burlison could not immediately be reached for comment at his Jefferson City office Tuesday. In the video, he calls Ellinger's proposal "a very drastic bill" and says he wanted to ask people at the gun shop and shooting range what they thought of it.
First elected to the state legislature in 2008, Burlison also is the chairman of the Missouri Sportsmen's Caucus and plays up his hunting background on his website. He touts that he sponsored a successful bill last year that would create a National Rifle Association-branded license plate in Missouri and recalls hosting a squirrel biscuit and gravy breakfast to discuss gun issues.
Burlison's video was posted the same day that state Rep. Mike Leara (R-St. Louis) introduced legislation that would make it a Class D felony for state legislators to propose bills to restrict gun rights in the state. Leara told The Huffington Post that he was introducing the legislation in opposition to Ellinger's bill.
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