Hearings begin today at the state capital over firearms legislation. A bill is being considered that combines many proposals put forth by house and senate republicans last year in response to tighter gun regulations proposed after the sandy hook elementary school shooting. The bill’s provisions include declaring many firearms regulations invalid, allowing anyone with a concealed-carry permit to carry a firearm openly anywhere in the state, letting schools designate one or more teachers as school protection officers who would be allowed to carry concealed firearms, forbidding healthcare professionals from asking about or documenting a patient’s status as a firearms owner, lowering the minimum age for a concealed-carry permit from 21 to 19 and providing that any person who is in the country illegally and has a firearm in their possession commits the offense of unlawful possession of a firearm. Some lawmakers say the bill’s survival is far from guaranteed. Out of the dozens of bills containing these or similar provisions last session, very few reached the house or senate floors. One bill similar to this year’s proposal passed the legislature but was vetoed by Governor Nixon.