Everytown Wants to Undo Missouri's Firearm Preemption Law

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Missouri is one of more than 30 states with a firearms preemption law in place that prevents local and county governments from imposing their own gun control measures more restrictive than state law. In a deep-red Constitutional Carry state like Missouri, that means anti-gun activists are largely stymied when it comes to advancing their agenda. The best they can do is apply pressure to the Republican majority not to adopt any new legislation protecting or strengthening the right to keep and bear arms, but things like banning modern sporting rifles and large capacity magazines or imposing a "red flag" law on residents is out of reach. 

Advertisement

Now one activist is hinting that the gun control lobby will try to undo the firearms preemption law next year.

“That should be an absolute top priority because obviously, the state is not going to do it,” said Zachary Mallory, a senior survivor fellow with Everytown USA, which advocates for gun safety policies. “Let’s take it to the city level, take it to the county level. Kansas City does not have local control of KCPD. That does a deep internal problem within itself.”

A citizen-led initiative petition campaign was launched last year in an attempt to place a question on the statewide ballot asking voters if they want to allow local governments to impose their own gun restrictions. The campaign was discontinued so advocates could focus on other ballot priorities.

And there's the problem for Everytown. There's already been an attempt to repeal preemption through a ballot initiative and it didn't get far. As we reported back in February:

A high-profile effort to wipe out Missouri's firearm preemption law and allow cities like St. Louis to establish their own local restrictions has been shelved after gun control activists discovered that their idea wasn't nearly as popular with voters as they thought it would be. We covered the launch of Sensible Missouri's attempt to amend the state constitution last summer, noting that if the activists concentrated their signature-gathering efforts in deep blue cities like St. Louis and Kansas City they might be able to collect the 171,000 names necessary to put their petitions on the ballot this November, but as it turns out the group never bothered to start the petition process.

Advertisement

Sensible Missouri decided to scrap its attempt after conducting polling on the language that should be used for the ballot initiative. University of Missouri-St. Louis professor emeritus Richard Rosenfeld, who was one of Sensible Missouri’s leaders at the time (he's since passed away), told a reporter that the results "didn’t look good and that efforts were on hold."

Now, if Everytown decides to pick up the torch they'll have far more money to spend than Sensible Missouri had at its disposal. As I mentioned a few months ago, if they focus their signature gathering efforts in Democratic strongholds its possible they'll be able to get on the ballot. When it comes to winning a statewide election, however, I don't think they have a chance. Missouri is a pro-Second Amendment state with a pro-Second Amendment majority of voters. If Michael Bloomberg wants to waste his money trying to prove otherwise he can, but he's going to quickly find out that gun owners and 2A advocates far outnumber the gun-grabbers in the Show Me State. 

Join the conversation as a VIP Member