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Missouri and Kansas Sessions Wrap Without Either State Taking Any Substantive Action on the Gun Violence Epidemic Following Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Parade Shooting


In the Aftermath of the Mass Shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Championship Parade, Lawmakers on Both Sides of Kansas City Focused on Pushing the Gun Lobby’s ‘Guns Everywhere’ Agenda, Took No Action on Gun Violence Prevention Measures

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Friday, the Missouri legislature officially wrapped the 2024 legislative session. While the onset of the states’ legislative sessions was met with tragedy when a mass shooting occurred at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl championship parade, both legislatures adjourned session without any gun safety legislation passing. Luckily, dangerous legislation pushed forward by extremist lawmakers, such as expanding their shoot first law and forcing more guns into public places, did not pass.

On February 14th, communities across Missouri, Kansas and the entire nation were shocked by the news of the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl championship parade. The shooting, which resulted in at least one person being shot and killed and an additional 22 victims who were shot and wounded, and at least half of the shooting victims are under 16, however, did not deter extremist lawmakers from continuing to push for dangerous legislation to roll back the state’s already sparse gun violence prevention measures. The same is true for Missouri’s neighboring state, Kansas, which wrapped its legislative session earlier this month. Kansas, the other state Kansas City straddles, also saw its lawmakers attempt to pass extremist ‘gun lobby agenda’ measures — thankfully also failing to get these measures over the finish line. Despite the dangerous action of extremist lawmakers,  Missouri and Kansas democratic electeds alike attempted to advance legislation to promote gun safety and address community gun violence. Their actions, however, won’t be able to be actualized until lawmakers who prioritize gun safety are the majority in both states.

“In the wake of the deadly mass shooting during the Kansas City Chiefs’ Championship parade, both the Missouri and Kansas legislatures failed to prioritize the lives of their constituents with their disappointing inaction,” said Shannon Witcher, a volunteer with the Kansas City chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Despite promising actions by Democrats from both sides of Kansas City, we are going another year without taking action on gun violence, which will continue to lead to tragedy. We know this is the sad reality of extremists having the majority in both Kansas and Missouri and that’s why we are committed to working emphatically to elect gun safety candidates.”

Following the Kansas City Chiefs super bowl parade shooting, Missouri lawmakers attempted to: 

  • Further weaken gun laws by forcing firearms into places of worship and public transit (HB1708). 
  • Expand Missouri’s dangerous Shoot First law (SB 989) a policy associated with an increase in homicides and with instances of racist gun violence, giving people a license to kill, allowing them to use deadly force as a first option rather than the last and then claim self defense. 
  • Force more guns into schools (HB 1440).
  • Pass SB 808, a dangerous public safety bill which would allow the state to take control of municipal law enforcement agencies. This measure would tie the hands of Missouri cities to combat gun violence in their municipalities The state already controls law enforcement in Kansas City. 
  • Attempt to nullify federal laws in Missouri by declaring federal and state judicial orders (SB 998) requiring relinquishment of firearms by “law-abiding citizens” as a Second Amendment infringement, effectively attempting to invalidate any extreme risk protection order from another jurisdiction.

Kansas lawmakers acted similarly. Hours after the shooting, Republican extremist lawmakers introduced a measure to nullify gun violence prevention federal laws (HB 2803). Additionally, the legislature attempted to pass HCR 5020, a dangerous resolution that poses a direct threat to Kansas public safety laws by paving a way to strip Kansas of its few gun safety laws. If adopted, a strict scrutiny judicial standard would have threatened to eliminate Kansas’s most crucial public safety laws, including prohibitions on gun possession by convicted felons and domestic abusers. 

Despite dangerous attempted action from extremist lawmakers in both Missouri and Kansas, Democratic lawmakers were strong in their action following the shooting. Just days after the shooting, over 40 Missouri Democratic lawmakers introduced identical resolutions to repeal Missouri’s preemption law, currently blocked after a federal court struck it down as unconstitutional, which bars cities and localities from passing local gun restrictions. Kansas City has been completely strapped and unable to take action against gun violence partially due to this law. Following the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs parade, Kansas Democratic lawmakers attempted weekly to introduce legislation for secure firearm storage and gun safety measures. While extremist lawmakers blocked these measures from advancing, strong minorities in both states showed their commitment to preventing gun violence. 

Both Missouri and Kansas have some of the weakest gun laws in the country. Missouri lawmakers have put lives in jeopardy by systematically chipping away at any and all gun safety laws including rolling back measures to require background checks for private handgun sales and measures to require a permit to carry concealed firearms in public. The state lacks many foundational gun safety laws, which has resulted in the state having the seventh highest rate of gun deaths in the country. Kansas also has incredibly weak gun laws, and extremist lawmakers have also spent the last decade attempting to repeal the remaining gun safety measures in the state by passing a permitless carry law in 2015,allowing people to carry hidden, loaded guns in public without training or background checks. Lawmakers have since repeatedly blocked attempts to pass a bill that would require abusers to relinquish their firearms.

While news of the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs super bowl championship parade shocked the entire nation, sadly, this tragedy was just a small sample of the gun violence plaguing communities in Kansas City. Already this year at least 52 people have been killed by firearm homicide in Kansas City. Kansas City straddles two states with some of the weakest and most dangerous gun laws, a recipe for tragedy, and leaving the city in an incredibly difficult position to combat gun violence. Despite taking steps to combat gun violence, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Kansas City lawmakers and law enforcement have been held back by extremists. For nearly a century, the Kansas City police department has been controlled by the state rather than the city. This relinquishment of law enforcement power is used by extremists in the state legislature to politically control the ability for the city to make public safety decisions on behalf of their constituents.  

More information about gun violence in Missouri is available here.

More information about gun violence in Kansas is available here.