scorecardRepublican-led legislature in Missouri rejected ban on children carrying guns in public without supervision
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Republican-led legislature in Missouri rejected ban on children carrying guns in public without supervision

Isobel van Hagen   

Republican-led legislature in Missouri rejected ban on children carrying guns in public without supervision
PoliticsPolitics1 min read
  • Missouri's legislature voted down a proposed ban on minors carrying firearms in public.
  • Republicans saw the rejected measure as a breach of the right to bear arms.

The Republican-led legislature in Missouri voted down a provision that would ban minors from carrying guns in public without adult supervision earlier this week in a state that already has some of the weakest gun laws in the US.

The amendment was initially part of a bipartisan effort to pass legislation to increase public safety in Missouri. The legislative body rejected the proposal by 104 to 39 votes.

Democratic Rep. Donna Baringer for the city of St. Louis was disappointed by the outcome and said law enforcement in her district supported the ban of children openly carrying firearms so that "14-year-olds walking down the middle of the street in the city of St. Louis carrying AR-15s."

"Now they have been emboldened, and they are walking around with them," she told the Associated Press. "Until they actually brandish them and brandish them with intent, our police officers' hands are handcuffed."

Republicans, however, saw the rejected measure as a breach of the right to bear arms.

"While it may be intuitive that a 14-year-old has no legitimate purpose, it doesn't actually mean that they're going to harm someone. We don't know that yet," said Republican Rep. Tony Lovasco, according to the Associated Press.

"Generally speaking, we don't charge people with crimes because we think they're going to hurt someone."

Only one Republican, Rep. Bill Allen, voted in favor of the measure.

Open carrying of weapons is legal in the state in most situations. In 2017, the state "eliminated the requirement for a concealed carry permit," according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In the state, there is no minimum age required to carry a firearm.

In a country plagued with continuous mass shootings and fatal gun violence, fear about children's access to handguns and other firearms is ongoing. Across the country, firearms are marketed to children despite gun violence being the leading cause of death for kids due to lax restrictions and laws.




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