Missouri Lawmakers Won't Move Bill Repealing Some 'Gun-Free Zones' After KC Shooting

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Republicans in Missouri's legislature won't move forward on two pro-2A bills that were making progress this session after the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs' celebratory parade last week, even though the two suspects who've been arrested are juveniles who aren't old enough to lawfully possess a firearm, and there's no evidence to date that any of the other potential suspects involved in the shooting are legal gun owners.


Anti-gunners routinely use tragic events like these to enact new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, but apparently some GOP lawmakers are concerned about the optics of helping lawful gun owners protect themselves in the wake of last week's events, which left a woman dead and nearly two dozen others injured. 

One of the bills would have allowed concealed carry permit holders to bring firearms onto public transportation, including buses, as well as inside places of worship. The other would have exempted firearms and ammunition from both state and local sales taxes.

House Majority Floor Leader Jon Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, said that while he believes both bills were worthy of debate, “they have no path to becoming law at this point.”

“Now is not the appropriate time to be taking up those bills and therefore they will not be brought up this session,” Patterson said.

The decision from Patterson, who is responsible for bringing up bills for debate on the House floor, follows a deadly shooting Wednesday in Kansas City.

The shooting occurred at the celebration of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory, killing one person and leaving more than 20 people injured.

Patterson said he spoke with the sponsors of both bills and “had productive conversations about what was in the best interest of our body as a whole, including many members who were at the shooting.”


As far as anti-gunners and their allies in the media are concerned, there will never be a good time to bring these bills forward, so why not go ahead and bring these bills up for a vote? 

Rep. Emily Weber, D-Kansas City, said she’s glad the House would not pass the bills this session, but she doesn’t want them to come up in future sessions either.

“What are we going to do in the future? What's going to be next session and the session after that? Because we've all heard these bills multiple times now,” Weber said. “And we will continue to still hear these bills.”

Weber said the legislature should instead take up gun control bills.

“I would really love for them to sit down with us and have conversations about the common sense gun laws that we've been trying to file and push and get hearings,” she said.

That's not going to happen either. Instead, it looks like House leadership has just decided that anything having to do with guns is done for the session. Rep. Adam Schnelting, who authored the bill repealing the gun ban on public transit and in houses of worship, disagrees with Patterson's decision to put both pieces of legislation on ice, pointing out that “no new gun restrictions would have prevented the tragic event in Kansas City, as the suspects were already in violation of current firearms law," while arguing that his measure would simply allow lawful gun owners to protect themselves and their families in places where criminals are already carrying despite the prohibitions currently in place.


I understand full well that the media and gun control groups would have lost their minds if the House had advanced one or both of these bills in the wake of the shooting, but that isn't a good enough reason to back down and leave these "gun-free zones" in place. The current ban on public transportation is particularly problematic given that it in essence disarms everyone who depends on buses and light rail to get around throughout the entirety of their day. The current law on carrying in houses of worship at least allows for churches, synagogues, and the link to allow concealed carry if religious leaders want, but there's an outright prohibition when it comes to concealed carry on public transit. 

HB 1708 would rectify that problem, but so long as Patterson and legislative leaders are going to cower at the thought of the bad press they'd receive by advancing this self-defense measure lawful gun owners are going to be deprived of their right to armed self-defense. Keeping this prohibition in place won't stop the shootings that are happening all too frequently on St. Louis's Metrolink system, nor will it lead to any editorials praising lawmakers for their "common sense" approach to concealed carry. As long as they're supporting our right to keep and bear arms these lawmakers are going to be pilloried in the press, and they should have stiffened their spines and passed this life-saving law regardless of the vitriol they would have been subjected to by anti-gunners in the media and at the state capitol. HB 1708 is a good bill, and it's absolutely shameful that it won't be moving forward after the cowardly acts of violence committed by juvenile offenders in Kansas City. 


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