Skip to content

New Here?

Recent Gun Violence in Kansas City Highlight Need for Action By Elected officials

June 12, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the last few weeks, high levels of gun violence have impacted communities across Kansas City — some of which were tragically deadly. These incidents include the following:

  • In the early morning of May 21, at a nightclub in Oak Park three people were shot and killed and two other people were shot and wounded in a triple homicide. The victims killed include 41-year-old Jason McConnell, 24-year-old Antoinette “Libby’” Brenson and 33-year-old Clarence Henderson, a rapper who went by the name Nutty Still Gassin.
  • Over Memorial Day weekend, seven people were killed in Kansas City within the span of 72 hours.
  • During the week of May 29, there were at least eight killings, including the shooting of 34-year-old Justin Barstow. This was the 75th homicide of the year in Kansas City. 
  • Just this morning, one person was shot and killed at a Paseo Fast Stop. Police are still looking for tips about the shooting.
  • The LGBTQ+ community is experiencing attacks. While not gun violence, early morning on Sunday, June 4th, over the first weekend of pride month, someone fired a pellet gun at people outside a LGBTQ+ bar, Fountain Haus in Westport. Police reported there were fortunately no physical injuries. On June 1st, a transgender woman was shot and wounded in the North Town Fork neighborhood. The attack is believed to be motivated by  hate.
  • As of June 12, there have been at least 80 homicides in Kansas City, Missouri, the vast majority of which involved firearms. 

“Time and time again communities and families in Kansas City are traumatized by gun violence,” said  Zachary Mallory, fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network and a volunteer with the Kansas City chapter of Moms Demand Action. “While at least 80 people have already been killed in Kansas City, MO this year alone, the vast majority by gun homicide, state lawmakers have made it virtually impossible for our city officials to address gun violence, pushing to expand nullification laws, and attempting to remove the very few remaining gun safety measures in the state. We must demand better of our representatives, and hold accountable those who care more about NRA dollars in their pocket than our families.”

Kansas City is uniquely positioned straddling two states with weak gun laws. Missouri and Kansas have some of the weakest gun laws in the country, and Missouri has the seventh highest rate of gun deaths in the US. Just last weekend, two teenagers were shot and killed in Boone County, MO. According to police reports, the victims were 16 and 17 years old, and four additional teens were shot and wounded. The states lack many of the foundational gun safety laws, including requiring background checks for all firearm sales, and requiring a permit to carry concealed firearms in public. Missouri does not prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses or people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from  possessing guns and the legislature has repeatedly blocked attempts to enact these common-sense prohibitions. 

Over the last decade, Missouri lawmakers have put lives in jeopardy by systematically chipping away at any and all gun safety measures and have emboldened extremists with their ‘guns everywhere’ agenda. This session, lawmakers attempted to take additional measures to strip away the few remaining gun safety protections, by attempting to pass legislation forcing guns into places of worship and public transportation, multiple pieces of legislation to expand Shoot First laws and the state’s existing nullification law, which penalizes law enforcement who attempt to enforce federal gun safety protections. In March, a federal court struck down Missouri’s dangerous nullification bill or “Second Amendment Preservation Act” as unconstitutional. Fortunately, the session ended without passage of a single gun lobby priority, thanks to tireless advocacy by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers.

Over the past decade, Kansas lawmakers have also attempted to repeal the remaining gun safety measures in the state. In 2015, Kansas passed a permitless carry law—allowing people to carry hidden, loaded guns in public without training or background checks. While the legislature did pass a bill to prohibit individuals convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence from purchasing firearms in 2018, they have since repeatedly blocked attempts to pass a bill that would require abusers to relinquish their firearms. In recent years, lawmakers have introduced several dangerous pieces of legislation to weaken Kansas’ gun laws even further, including passing a bill this session to require children enrolled in firearm safety training programs in public schools to go through the National Rifle Association’s “Eddie Eagle” program. The bill was vetoed by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.

More information about gun violence in Missouri is available here.

More information about gun violence in Kansas is available here.

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]