The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Missouri House General Laws Committee passed HB 1637 and HB 2150, dangerous bills that would make it illegal for Missouri state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal public safety laws:
“Once again, Missouri lawmakers are taking us in the exact wrong direction. Law enforcement officials should not be punished for doing their jobs,” said Karen Rogers, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Instead, lawmakers should look at ways to help curb the gun violence that kills over 1,000 Missourians a year with common-sense solutions like legislation to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.”
So-called “nullification” policies like HB 1637 and HB 2150 are unconstitutional, and would endanger public safety in Missouri by prohibiting state and local officials from helping to enforce federal public safety laws. If the bills are enacted, Missouri public servants could face lawsuits just for doing their jobs. Over the past few weeks, lawmakers have been focusing on risky gun legislation while ignoring proven common sense legislation — like legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
The rate of gun deaths in Missouri increased 55 percent in the last decade, compared to a 17 percent increase nationwide. Over 1000 Missourians are shot and killed every year, giving Missouri the eighth highest rate of gun deaths in the United States. Additionally, from 2013 to 2017, 87 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner in Missouri.
In February, over 450 Missouri Moms Demand Action volunteers attended their annual advocacy day at the statehouse urging lawmakers to prioritize bills to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Statistics about gun violence in Missouri are available here, and information on how Missouri’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.