Missouri’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives has voted against a proposal that would have banned children from carrying guns in public unless they had adult supervision.
There is currently no age minimum to openly carry a gun in Missouri.
The proposal went down to defeat in a 104-39 vote this week. Only a single Republican voted for the amendment, even though the change was initially touted as a “bipartisan” effort.
Calls for change were triggered after a number of holdups by armed young teens. Videos have captured groups of children openly carrying rifles, including assault-style weapons, as they walk the streets of St. Louis.
Democratic state Rep. Donna Baringer, who sponsored the amendment to a public safety bill, said that police in her district asked for the change. “We have 14-year-olds walking down the middle of the street in the city of St. Louis carrying AR-15s,” she said officers told her. “What has happened to us?”
She added: “Now they [the children] have been emboldened, and they are walking around with them. Until they actually brandish them, and brandish them with intent, our police officers … are handcuffed,” The Associated Press reported.
Republican opponents blasted the proposed change as an unnecessary infringement on gun rights.
“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,” argued Republican state Rep. Tony Lovasco, who represents a St. Louis suburb.
“We don’t charge people with crimes because we think they’re going to hurt someone,” he added, AP reported.
Since 2017, after Republicans overrode a veto by then-Gov. Jay Nixon (D), Missouri residents have not been required to take safety training, to undergo a criminal background check, or even to have a gun permit to carry concealed firearms in most public places. The move was celebrated by Republicans — but not by law enforcement.
Shooting down the slightly safer gun law comes a month after Missouri Republicans in the state House sparked heated controversy after voting to require that female lawmakers must cover their arms when in the chamber.
The House eventually approved a “modified” version of the proposal, allowing women to also wear sweaters as well as jackets to hide their arms, The Washington Post noted. There are no similar requirements for men.
Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.