Bipartisan bill looks to restrict access to guns 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.