St. Louis area Democrats have introduced a bill in the state House of Representatives that would make “assault weapons” illegal in Missouri and make it mandatory for those who own them to turn them in.
The measure also would outlaw high-capacity ammunition magazines. Possessing or transferring either the weapons or the magazines would become a class C felony.
House Bill No. 545 was introduced Wednesday by Rep. Rory Ellinger, D-86th District. Cosponsors are Rep. Jill Schupp, D-88th District, Rep. Margo McNeil, D-69th District and Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray, D-75th District.
The bill defines an assault weapon as a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and any of a list of features, including a pistol grip or a folding stock. Semi-automatic pistols would be outlawed too if the bill were to become law.
It faces an uphill battle, however, as Republicans hold super majorities in both the House and Senate this session.
Rep. Diane Franklin, R-123rd District, doesn’t expect the bill to make it to a committee hearing, much less to the House floor. Franklin represents the north and east parts of Lebanon and Laclede County.
“They may grant it a hearing, but it wouldn’t pass out of the House of Representatives,” Franklin said Thursday. “It probably wouldn’t pass out of committee.”
Franklin said she was unsure why the legislators would introduce a bill that doesn’t have a ghost of a chance of ever becoming law. “I think they’re just kind of expressing their opinion in this bill, and they certainly can do that,” she said.
Despite the virtual impossibility of the bill proceeding, it has drawn attention around the country.
“I have been sitting at my computer for the last two and a half hours, answering my flooded inbox of e-mails about this bill,” said 129th District Rep. Sandy Crawford early today.
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