BELLEVUE, WA—The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today called on Missouri Gov. Bob Holden to stop spreading “sour grapes” hysteria about firearms.

On Monday, Holden announced that he was banning concealed firearms from state office buildings, an authority some lawmakers and many citizens do not believe the governor has, even under executive rulemaking authority. He did it even before the state’s new concealed carry statute takes effect.

“Gov. Holden is showing his vindictive nature with this ban,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “He knows, yet refuses to admit, that law-abiding citizens who legally carry firearms do not shoot up government buildings. He also should realize that by announcing this ban, which needs to be challenged legally, that he is virtually declaring government buildings to be ‘free fire zones’ for criminals.

“This is the same kind of logic,” Gottlieb continued, “Holden used when he vetoed concealed carry in July. Not long afterward, St. Louis was rocked by a string of deadly carjackings that might not have been so boldly committed, had the governor not essentially told criminals they have an unarmed citizenry upon which to prey.

“The Legislature’s courageous veto over-ride in September,” Gottlieb added, “was the right thing to do in response to a wrong-headed governor. Instead of accepting the will of the people’s representatives, Holden is now fomenting what amounts to hysteria by encouraging citizens, and particularly state employees, to be fearful of their fellow citizens who might be legally licensed to carry a defensive handgun.”

Democrat State Sen. Harold Caskey of Butler and Republican State Rep. Larry Crawford both reportedly believe the governor’s action might not be legal. Gottlieb encouraged both lawmakers to take legal action.

“Gov. Holden is hardly acting, as he claims, in the interest of public safety,” Gottlieb stated. “Instead, he is working overtime to promote public fear. His anti-personal defense extremism is embarrassing. He should stop playing emperor and start acting like a public servant, working to expand civil rights, not restrict them.”