St. Louis area lawmaker proposes assault weapon ban in Missouri - KCTV5

St. Louis area lawmaker proposes assault weapon ban in Missouri

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Possessing an assault weapon in Missouri would be illegal under a bill that has been introduced by a state House Democrat.

Rep. Rory Ellinger, of University City, filed a bill this week that would require gun owners to give up their semi-automatic weapons within 90 days of the measure's passage. Failure to surrender an assault weapon would result in a felony charge. It would be a Class C felony.

The bill would include semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns with fixed or detachable magazines.

It would also be illegal to manufacture or import such weapons in the state. The measure would exempt state and federal law enforcement from the ban.

Three other Democrats, also all from the St. Louis area, co-sponsored the bill.

The bill has not been referred to a House committee, and the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly is unlikely to act on it.

Republican lawmakers said they have received inquires from around the country about it.

"The bill's sponsor has a better chance of becoming the next Pope," Rep. Eric Burlison, a Republican from Springfield, told KY3 News.

Other lawmakers predicted the bill would never even get debated in a committee and the filing was just for show and takes away from a needed discussion about improvements to the mental health system.

Rex Kehrli, manager of RK Shows, said the draconian bill wouldn't pass muster.

"If it would pass, it would have a huge effect not just on gun shows or gun shops, but basically on anyone who owns a firearm period or anyone who hunts," he said.

Many choices for hunters would be eliminated, he said.

"It would cover just about any and every firearm ever made," Kehrli said. "It would be total confiscation of things like your squirrel rifles and hunting rifles and that type of thing."

Kehrli said lawmakers should deal with the real problem.

"Unfortunately our conversation seems to be going more towards penalizing law-abiding citizens that obey the laws every day, rather than dealing with the real problem, which is how do we physically stop shooters from going into large amounts of people and causing a lot of damage," he said.

To see the bill in its entirety, click here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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