JEFFERSON CITY,Mo. — The Missouri chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement following the close of Missouri’s legislative session, during which lawmakers passed a set of dangerous bills to nullify federal gun laws and undermine police accountability.
“We worked hard this session to show up and make sure our lawmakers heard our voices and understood the threat gun violence poses to public safety,” said Karen Rogers, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While we are extremely disappointed that lawmakers passed bills this session that undeniably put our communities in danger — it can’t end here. We are even more motivated to hold Missouri legislators accountable at the ballot box and pass policies that will keep our communities safe from domestic violence and all gun violence.”
Despite all of the chapter’s work, Missouri lawmakers still pushed through dangerous gun bills this session:
- HB 85, dangerous legislation that will attempt to nullify federal public safety laws in Missouri as well as prohibit state and local law enforcement officers from assisting in the enforcement of those laws— including laws which help keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, domestic abusers, and others with dangerous histories.Lawmakers voted no on an amendment to HB 85 to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, despite the bill making it harder to enforce federal domestic violence laws that protect families and communities.
- SB 26, a dangerous and extreme bill to discourage investigations into police misconduct by imposing arbitrary restrictions on misconduct investigations, undermining transparency and police accountability and even subjecting local governments and law enforcement agencies to the threat of lawsuits and associated costs.
Despite passing HB 85 and SB 26, lawmakers rejected other efforts to weaken Missouri gun laws, defeating:
- HB 86, legislation that would force colleges and universities to allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns on their campuses; allow civilians to carry concealed handguns in elementary, middle and high schools, bars, daycare centers, and other sensitive locations throughout the state; and encroach on Missourians’ rights by allowing handguns on private property even if the owner has posted a “no guns allowed” sign.
- SB 528, which would establish an all-volunteer armed militia in the state called “the Minutemen.”
- HB 944, which would lower the age to allow 18 year olds to obtain permits to carry concealed handguns in public.
This legislative session, the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action supported lawmakers pushing gun violence prevention legislation by:
- Advocating for HB 473, a bill that would help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. HB 473 passed out of committee unanimously, and while it was not signed into law, this is the furthest this type of legislation has gotten in recent history.
- Gathering over 1,100 signatures for a petition in opposition to HB86, the dangerous “Guns Everywhere” bill.
- This session, despite not being able to testify in front of lawmakers or visit the Capitol due to the pandemic, Moms Demand Action volunteers and supporters made over 800 calls and sent more than 1,500 emails to Missouri lawmakers asking them to stop several dangerous gun bills from moving through the legislature.
Missouri has long experienced a gun violence crisis. It has the 6th-highest rate of gun violence in the country, with 1,222 people killed and 2,584 others wounded by guns in an average year in Missouri. Gun violence costs the state of Missouri $9.8 billion each year, of which $507.2 million is paid by taxpayers. Weak gun laws in Missouri create easy access to guns, enabling this public health crisis. The pandemic has also exacerbated the root causes of gun violence, in Missouri and across the country.