Missouri State Rep. uses gun regulation bill for target practice

Rep. Eric Burlison, angered by a proposed law that would prohibit assault weapons in Missouri, videotaped himself opening fire on the physical bill at a shooting facility.

Missouri State Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Springfield) isn’t one to waste paper.

That's why the GOP legislator used a proposed Missouri state law that would prohibit the manufacture and possession of assault weapons for target practice at a local gun range.

According to The Riverfront Times, Burlison, armed with a video camera, brought a paper copy of House Bill 545 to a gun shop in his district and asked customers there what they thought about the proposed legislation. HB 545, introduced by Rep. Rory Ellinger (D-University City), would also require those already in possession of assault rifles to turn in their firearms within 90 days or face jail time.

One female customer groused on tape that the law would establish too much red tape and only build a bigger government. She also worried her grandfather would be hauled off to jail if didn’t relinquish his assault rifles.

A man behind the counter at the gun range reacted more indignantly to Burlison's questions regarding which guns Ellinger's bill would outlaw.

"It's the same bloody rifle," the man screamed when comparing what he called a "bugaboo rifle," which would be illegal if the bill were to pass, to an earlier iteration of the same .223 caliber rifle, which would remain legal under the proposed law.

Next, Burlison brought the paper legislation to the firing range and asked an armed man there what he thought about the measure.

"It's a great bill," the man said.

"Really?" asked Burlison.

"It's great target practice," the man responded as Burlison chuckled.

The camera then follows Burlison after he unloads a gun into the piece of paper.

"You're right, it does make for a good bill," Burlison cracks.

According to The Huffington Post, Burlison has served in the Missouri state legislature since 2008 and is chairman of the Missouri Sportsmen's Caucus. He sponsored a successful bill last year that would create a National Rifle Association branded license plate in Missouri, and on his website he speaks about holding a squirrel biscuit and gravy breakfast meeting to discuss gun issues.

According to the American Conservatives Union, Rep. Burlison has a 100 percent conservative rating.

Among a litany of gun regulation bills swirling around the Missouri statehouse, Rep. Mike Leara's (R-St. Louis) proposed law makes it a felony for state legislators to propose bills that restrict gun rights in Missouri.

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