State Watch

Missouri lawmakers vote against banning children from carrying guns in public

The Missouri State Capitol is seen Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Jefferson City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Missouri state lawmakers voted down a proposal on Wednesday to ban children from carrying guns in public.

The amendment to a public safety bill, brought to the floor by Democratic state Rep. Donna Baringer from St. Louis, was defeated 104-39.

The provision was originally part of House Bill 301, a public safety bill developed by a bipartisan working group on crime. Baringer served as a member of the working group.

However, when the legislation came before the larger Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee, the provision barring children from publicly carrying guns was removed.

“We knew from the very beginning, when we had those conversations, every time we talked about the provision related to guns, we knew that that was going to be difficult on our side of the aisle,” said Republican state Rep. Lane Roberts from Jasper, who chaired the working group.

Baringer offered up the amendment to add it back in before the entire Missouri House of Representatives on Wednesday, noting that it had been requested by police officers in St. Louis.

“We have 14-year-olds walking down the middle of the street in the city of St. Louis carrying AR-15s,” she said the officers told her. “What has happened to us?”

“Until they actually brandish them, and brandish them with intent, our police officers’ hands are handcuffed, they are tied,” Baringer added.

This particular issue has arisen since the Missouri legislature repealed a state law in 2016 that required permits to carry a concealed weapon, Baringer noted. Without concealed carry permits, there is currently no way to set a minimum age requirement, she said.

Across the country, gun control laws have faced an uphill battle in the courts, following the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen last June. The high court overturned a concealed carry law in New York state, finding that gun laws must be in line with the country’s historic traditions.

Tags Concealed carry Donna Baringer Gun control gun control legislation Lane Roberts Missouri New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen St. Louis

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