This month, Missouri communities continued to experience devastating levels of gun violence. Research has shown that many cities often experience increases in violent crime during the warm days of summer, and Missouri, with the fifth-highest rate of gun deaths in the nation, has seen tragic incidents of gun violence this summer. In this month alone, a 19-year-old was arrested for making threats to commit a mass shooting in the Kansas City area. Two people were shot and killed in Lee’s Summit earlier in June. A 22-year-old was shot and killed in a home in St. Louis on Sunday, and also on Sunday, a 16-year old was shot and killed in Jefferson County.
After countless Missourians and advocates from across the country joined together to call for change in the wake of the tragic shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde, and daily gun violence in Missouri and nationwide, Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a historic gun safety, mental health, and school safety bill, into law. However, stronger gun laws at the state level are needed to keep Missouri communities safe from gun violence.
Research shows that strong gun laws save lives, but according to Everytown’s gun law rankings report, Missouri has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, with no foundational gun laws, like the requirement of a background check for firearm purchases or a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. State lawmakers must take swift action when the legislature returns to pass common sense gun safety laws that will address the state’s gun violence crisis and keep communities safe.
In an average year, 1,288 people die and 2,584 people are wounded by guns in Missouri. The rate of gun deaths has increased 70% from 2011 to 2020 in Missouri, compared to a 33% increase nationwide. Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Missouri. Learn more about gun violence in Missouri here.