Indivisible KC Week in Action: Missouri, March 5
It’s Been a Terrible, Awful Month for Gun Sense
Just when we thought the survivors of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida might convince lawmakers to enact sensible gun control laws, something terrible happened at the Missouri State House.
The House General Laws committee voted along party lines to pass HB 1936, the "Guns Everywhere" bill and several other bad gun bills, which are each now all on their path to the House for a full vote.
The Guns Everywhere bill would allow people to carry concealed firearms almost everywhere in Missouri, from daycares and colleges to bars. HB 1936 is the worst of a long line of terrible gun laws to be considered in Missouri since the background check requirement was repealed in 2007. Remember, Missouri loosened its gun laws in 2016 to allow permitless carry, and broadened the definition of what's considered self defense with “Stand Your Ground”, a law linked to large increases in gun deaths, especially for minorities. The weakening of Missouri’s gun laws has been associated with at least a 23% increase in firearm homicides, while other states saw decreases in gun deaths; there were 208 homicides in the Kansas City Metro in 2017, including seven children. Our children are at risk every day, both from domestic terrorists in our schools and from stray bullets in our streets.
Lawmakers want to continue this deadly trend with Guns Everywhere. With passage of HB 1936, nineteen-year-olds would be allowed to carry concealed weapons on all public university campuses (combine that with alcohol and anxiety or mental health stressors common among university students and you’ve got a disastrous situation on your hands!). Private property owners would be unable to stop people from bringing guns onto their property. Civilians (not just staff) could carry concealed handguns in some K-12 schools, too. Across the country, educators, law enforcement and security officers, and emergency management and public health agencies all agree allowing civilians to carry guns in schools and other public spaces is not sound. Guns Everywhere puts Missourians in unacceptable peril.
The good news is that we have the power to do something about this. We don't have to stay quiet and let the NRA tell our legislators what our laws will be.
You have a special power, and now is the time to use it. Constituent phone calls carry the most weight with lawmakers; they always try to return them. Call Your Missouri Representative, and tell them to pass sensible gun laws that protect our communities. (573-217-4023 will connect you.) Remind them the vast majority of Americans support sensible gun laws. Encourage your representative to support gun sense and vote NO on HB 1936.
Here's what else you can do:
No to Guns Everywhere: Tell your Missouri legislators to vote No on HB 1936, the Guns Everywhere bill! HB 1936 would allow guns in schools, in bars, and on private property against the property owner's wishes. Call 573-217-4023 to hear talking points and be connected with your representative, then Join our letter writing campaign here!
Demand action: Sen. Roy Blunt has benefited from $4.55 million in NRA support for his political career. That's more than two-and-half times the average lifetime earnings of a KC teacher. It’s time for him to think of Missourians, not donors. Join us March 7 from 12pm to 1pm at Sen. Blunt's office at 1000 Walnut St. to let him know we are fed up with out-of-control gun violence. Don't forget to bring your sign!
Update your calendar! Due to the overwhelming turnout interest (and a conflicting event scheduled at Mill Creek/JC Nichols Park), the March For Our Lives on March 24, from noon to 4pm, will be held across from the Nelson-Atkins, in Theis Park. Make a change for our future and be part of the nationwide effort to advocate for weapons reform. We need volunteers to help ensure an organized and orderly event; email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested and available to assist.
Check out our Missouri News Roundup for information on the other gun bills making their way through the legislature, as well as an update on the Greitens investigation and other notable stories. Check out our Event Stories page for photos of the Dream Act Now rally.Thank you so much for doing your part to protect the safety of your fellow Missourians. Please tell us about your conversation with your lawmaker.