All over the country, state legislatures are getting ready to go back to work. Some will have very different faces. Others will look much the same as they did the year before.
For anti-gun lawmakers, though, it won’t matter.
After all, they have completely bought into the narrative that the midterms were a massive win for them, so they figure they can get gun control passed.
Missouri lawmakers have pre-filed over 600 bills for the next legislative session, including a dozen different bills relating to gun control.
Scott Randolph is the volunteer state legislative lead in Jefferson City for the national group Moms Demand Action, a grassroots political group that advocates for public safety measure to protect against gun violence.
“We need to take steps in the state to help protect and help reduce gun violence in our communities and help to promote gun safety. I think it is a good opportunity for this legislative session to address some bills that will do just that,”Randolph said.
The proposed legislation addresses things like firearm sales, safety and transfer, but Firearms Instructor Shawn Harper doesn’t feel additional legislation is necessary.
“No gun control law will fix the problems that we have. If people are going to own a gun, they should have the attitude, knowledge and skills to safely own and use that gun,”Harper said.
Senate Bill 163 and House Bill 210 would criminalize private firearm transfers. If approved by the general assembly, the bill(s) would make it illegal for a person to sell or transfer a firearm unless the person is a firearms dealer; selling or transferring to a firearms dealer, or performing the transaction through a licensed firearms dealer
Randolph said requiring all sales and gun transfers to be in a federally certified firearms dealer would universally require people wanting to purchase a gun to go through a background check.
“It’s been proven in other states and other areas to be an effective way to reduce gun violence and to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,”Randolph said.
A bill proposed by Democratic Senator Jill Schupp would make gun owners liable if a child was injured after gaining access to their firearm.
Senate Bill 40 would impose criminal liability on gun owners who do not follow requirement for storing firearms if a child gains access.If a child gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and a person failed to secure the firearm or left the firearm in a place they knew or should have known the child could gain access.
“Gun owners have a moral and ethical responsibility to prevent unauthorized access to their firearms, that definitely first and foremost includes children,”Harper said.
Oh, and there are tons more including red flag laws, a law limiting how a firearm can be transported (unloaded and locked in a storage case), and a requirement to report lost or stolen firearms, just to name a few.
The thing is, this isn’t likely to happen.
The red flag laws might happen. There’s support for them in Republican circles as well, so those might get through the Missouri legislature.
The rest, however? Not going to happen.
Yet gun control advocates in legislatures continue to beat their head against the wall on this. Why?
This time around, it’s because they probably think they can get enough support for this to ram it down their opponents’ throats. They’re convinced the tide has shifted on gun control and that they’re somehow in control despite party disparity.
In other words, self-delusion.
Still, it’ll be fun watching some of these proposals get knocked down in the coming year.