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Missouri rep: Union rights, gun rights are equally important

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Robby Soave
Reporter

A Missouri state legislator who sponsored a bill that would make it a felony for his fellow congressman to curtail collective bargaining said that the law should protect both union rights and gun rights.

Democratic state Rep. Jeff Roorda’s bill would slap congressman who introduced legislation to limit collective bargaining with a class D felony. It was proposed in response to a similar, Republican-backed bill that would apply the same penalty to any legislator who attempts to limit the right to bear arms.

Roorda actually supports the Republican bill, as well as his own.

“I support that,” he said of the bill that criminalizes anti-gun legislation, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I am a gun owner and a gun enthusiast myself.”

Where Republicans went wrong, he argued, was leaving it at gun rights. Collective bargaining rights are just as worthy of protection, he said.

“Gun rights are not the only bedrock constitutional principle that we ought to be protecting,” he said. “We have a constitutional right to collective bargaining here in Missouri, and there has been one attack against the rights to unionize here after another.”

Missouri is not a right-to-work state—and could never become one if such legislation was approved. Both bills will likely go nowhere, however.

Still, Roorda maintained that both union rights and gun rights were worth protecting through legislation.

“If outlawing the filing of legislation that infringes on constitutional rights is going to be the rule of the day, I don’t think we should just restrict it to our gun rights,” he said. “While I support that, I think our rights to organize are every bit as important.”

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