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News Brief

Feb. 22, 2024 |  By: Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

Missouri Dems attempt new legislation following parade shooting

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By Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

Missouri Democrats have filed legislation which would prompt a vote to return gun possession rules to local governments. The move was prompted by a deadly shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory parade.

In 2021, Gov. Mike Parsons signed the Second Amendment Preservation Act, a controversial law preventing federal law from overreaching on a person's right to bear arms.

Law enforcement agencies with officers who knowingly enforce any federal laws could be sued and fined up to $50,000.

Rep. Cristal Quade, D-Springfield, the House Minority Leader, called the parade shooting an example of the state's weak gun laws.

"Law enforcement officers are begging and pleading with us to allow them to do their jobs," Quade pointed out. "The basics of juveniles in the city being able to carry guns and cops pulling them over and not being able to take them from them. And to the speaker's comment, laws don't fix things. Then what the hell are we doing as lawmakers? Why are we here at all?"

Majority Republicans scrapped a bill which would have allowed concealed guns in transit and places of worship. They did, however, attempt to change Missouri's initiative petition process, which would have made any proposals -- like this one for local control or abortion rights -- difficult to pass.

Quade argued voters should have the opportunity to let local officials pass common-sense gun laws reflecting the needs of their communities. She contended House majority leaders are just tiptoeing around the issue.

"They keep saying that they need to pass these bills to make Missourians safer," Quade observed. "Obviously, they know that it will not make Missourians safer. What they're doing is trying to score political pointed for these primaries where they're running against each other and they are using our children as political fodder."

Platte County Democrat Ashley Aune tried to speak about gun violence in the House on Tuesday, and posted video footage that appeared to show Republicans shutting her down, with someone telling the House speaker, "I think she should just sit."