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Recent Gun Violence in Missouri, Including a Hostage Situation, Emphasizes the Danger of Weak Gun Safety Laws

January 29, 2024

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statements in response to incidents of recent devastating gun violence across the state. 

“These incidents are every parents’ nightmare, and our hearts break for the victims and the trauma they have endured,” said Sharon Williams, a volunteer with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This is proof of what can happen – and far too often does happen  – when guns are too easily accessible in our state. It’s about time that our lawmakers put our safety first, and we’ll be there to remind them today in Jefferson City when they debate even more dangerous bills that would only make guns more accessible.” 

The incidents included:

  • Over this past weekend, a string of shootings in St. Louis resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. 
  • On Sunday, a domestic violence incident turned into an armed standoff in  Kansas City.
  • A 15-year-old boy was shot in the head Thursday afternoon inside a home in south St. Louis’ Marine Villa neighborhood.
  • Additionally, two teens and an adult were shot and wounded in Kansas City on Thursday.
  • A hostage situation in downtown St. Louis on Wednesday where a woman and two children were held against their will by a man who was armed with a gun. 

These incidents come as House lawmakers prepare to hold hearings on dangerous bills to increase the accessibility and presence of firearms in Missouri. While Missouri continues to suffer from some of the weakest gun laws in the country, legislators are prioritizing putting dangerous firearms in more hands and more locations. House Bill 1708 would: 

  • Lower the age to concealed carry a firearm from 19 to 18. Current law only allows concealed carry for 18 year olds who are members of the armed services. 
  • Force guns in houses of worship, taking discretion away from religious leaders as to whether they want to allow guns, and 
  • Force guns on buses and trains by allowing people with concealed carry permits or endorsements to carry a firearm on public transit. 

Missouri has some of the weakest gun laws in the country, resulting in the eighth-highest rate of gun violence in the U.S. In an average year, 1,351 people die by guns and 2,312 are wounded. Gun violence costs Missouri $17.6 billion each year, of which $455.3 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Missouri can be found here

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