Tonight, the St. Louis County Council will vote on whether to add disability, sexual orientation, gender identity to the county’s nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations, as well as to the characteristics that might be considered in prosecution of a hate crime. The bill does not create any new laws, but simply updates what identity categories the 13-year-old protections include. Still, that did not prevent the National Rifle Association from lobbying against the bill, citing the law’s restrictions on firearms:
Today, November 27, at 6:00 p.m. CST, the St. Louis County Council will decide whether to pass County Bill 279, an ordinance that would limit your inherent right to self-defense. While the most of this ordinance focuses on anti-discrimination policy, there are several anti-Second Amendment provisions.
You can review a copy of this proposed ordinance here. (Page 9, Sections 11-14)
Sections 11-14 would prohibit discharge of a firearm in any vehicle, boat or building in St. Louis County. As you can see, this would greatly hinder your right to self-defense. Not only is this a blatant disregard for your right to defend yourself, but this ordinance violates state law by prohibiting you from carrying a firearm for self-defense in certain locations outlined in Section 13.
Please attend tonight’s County Council meeting and voice your opposition to the anti-Second Amendment provisions in County Bill 279. This meeting will be held tonight, November 27, at 6:00 p.m., at the St. Louis County Council Chamber, Administration Building, 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, Missouri 63105. Also ask your family and friends in St. Louis County to join you in contacting members of the St. Louis County Council and respectfully urging them to vote “NO” on County Bill 279.
The NRA is mistaken that tonight’s vote impacts their 2nd Amendment Rights in any way. Those restrictions are already law regardless of whether LGBT people are specifically protected under them or not. In effect, the NRA is simply encouraging supporters to vote against protections for LGBT citizens with no actual stake in the outcome.
ThinkProgress contacted the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action to inquire about the peculiar position statement, but no comment was provided. The notice encouraging supporters to oppose the bill remains live as quoted above as of this post’s publishing.
A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization, offered this response to the NRA’s interference: “This is nothing more than a direct attempt to sabotage protections for LGBT citizens. It’s a shameless tactic.”