Bipartisan bill looks to restrict access to guns for minors in Missouri

Bipartisan bill looks to restrict access to gun for minors in Missouri
Bipartisan bill looks to restrict access to gun for minors in Missouri
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:15 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - A recent wave of crime by young teenagers in St. Louis is garnering attention from lawmakers in Jefferson City as a proposed public safety bill could add restrictions to Missouri gun laws on who can legally possess a firearm in public.

House Bill 301, introduced by Lane Roberts (R-Joplin), would prohibit a person under the age of 18 from carrying a firearm on public property without the supervision of a guardian.

According to St. Louis Metropolitan Police, “there is no minimum age to lawfully possess a firearm.”

The act of walking down the street with a weapon is not a crime in Missouri. If they act menacing or use it to commit a crime, police can act, but without this law, State Rep. Donna Baringer (D - St. Louis) says it can make it difficult for police to stop a crime before it happens.

“A lot of people are not aware that in the State of Missouri, we have no law on how old you can be to carry a gun, so if an officer was to see a 10-year-old carrying a gun, they can’t arrest them for illegally carrying a gun because there’s no age requirement,” Baringer said.

Baringer is part of a bi-partisan group that unanimously approved the recommended legislation, among other public safety measures.

This past week, St. Louis Police arrested a 13-year-old in connection to an armed carjacking and a 14-year-old in connection to a carjacking turned homicide.

House Bill 301 is the same bill calling for a special prosecutor in the City of St. Louis.