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Extremist Lawmakers in Missouri Begin 2024 Legislative Session By Reintroducing Dangerous Gun Laws, Including Legislation to Force Guns Into Places of Worship, Allow More People to Have Guns in Schools, and Legalize Access to Firearms for Children

January 12, 2024

During the 2023 Legislative Session, Following Advocacy By Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers, Dangerous Gun Legislation Failed to Pass, Including Identical Bill to Force Guns into Sensitive Places

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. –  In the first few days of the 2024 Missouri legislative session, extremist lawmakers in Missouri have prioritized introducing incredibly dangerous gun laws that could put Missourans in danger. Already, lawmakers have introduced:

  • House Bill 1708, legislation to lower the age to concealed carry a firearm from 19 to 18. HB 1708 would also force guns in houses of worship, public transportation, including buses and trains, by allowing people with concealed carry permits to carry a firearm on public transit.
  • House Bill 2291, legislation to encourage the purchase of firearms by creating an exemption to the state sales tax for firearms and ammunition.
  • House Bill 1440, legislation to further arm people in Missouri schools, by expanding the categories of people who could carry guns in schools to all school personnel.
  • Senate Bill 808, legislation to allow the state to take control of municipal law enforcement agencies from city government. This measure would frustrate the ability of Missouri cities to combat gun violence. The state already controls law enforcement in Kansas City. 

“We are not even two weeks into the 2024 legislative session and extremist Republican lawmakers are already working overtime to make our state more dangerous by playing politics with our lives,” said Rev. Geneva Allen-Patterson, a gun violence survivor and volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “How many Missourians need to be shot and killed for Missouri extremist lawmakers to prioritize our lives over the gun lobby’s money? Last session we worked overtime to block the passage of  efforts to further weaken our gun laws. We are disgusted by their relentless efforts to strip away all gun safety measures, including by trying to force guns into our sacred places of worship. This year, we will continue our advocacy, and double down on our calls to action.”

Missouri has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, resulting in the seventh highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S. and despite Missouri’s enduring gun violence crisis, Missouri lawmakers have continued to double down on their “guns everywhere” agenda. During the 2023 legislative session, due to the tireless advocacy of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, Missouri lawmakers unsuccessfully introduced multiple pieces of legislation to expand Shoot First laws, and legislation to expand the state’s nullification law.  Lawmakers also attempted to take additional measures to strip away the few remaining gun safety protections in the state, attempting to pass similar legislation forcing guns into places of worship and sensitive locations like public transportation. 

Missouri has made it nearly impossible for its cities to combat gun violence. The state already controls law enforcement in Kansas City and Missouri state lawmakers attempted, but luckily, failed to pass, similar legislation to take control of St. Louis’s police department this session. Gun safety champions Mayor Quinton Lucas in Kansas City and Mayor Tishaura Jones in St. Louis continue to push back at the state, and operate in their capacity to protect their cities. 

As Missouri lawmakers continue to stoke fear and push a narrative that more guns everywhere make us safer, and as Missouri lawmakers continue to weaken gun laws and allow more guns in more places, more violence is the logical outcome. 

More information about gun violence in Missouri is available here.

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