Missouri Bills Criminalize Firearm Safety

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Two identical bills that require universal background checks completed by federally licensed dealers for all firearm transfers have been introduced in the Missouri House by State Representative Ashley Bland Manlove and State Representative Greg Razer. House Bill 1529 and House Bill 1676 would even require two sportsmen to use a licensed firearm dealer and undergo the background-check process to temporarily loan a firearm for hunting purposes or even simply handing their gun to someone momentarily.

Take Action Today! Missouri sportsmen should call their state representatives and ask them to OPPOSE House Bill 1529 and House Bill 1676. Missouri members can contact their representatives by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Directory.

Although the language in this legislation would allow family firearm transfers without a licensed dealer, these bills fail to provide exceptions for loaning firearms to non-family members for hunting purposes or common acts of safety in the field and everyday use at the range. The language in HB 1529 and HB 1676 would make it unlawful for an experienced hunter to allow a friend to borrow a firearm for hunting or target shooting without first going through a licensed dealer, even if the owner of the firearm is present.

“Essentially what this bill does is make it unlawful to introduce non-family members to hunting or shooting sports,” said Jacob Hupp, associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “A bill like this does more harm than good because it creates yet another barrier for first-time and novice sportsmen and women to gain more experience afield before purchasing the right firearm for themselves.

“Further, these bills criminalize safe firearm handling in the field. Sportsmen are taught to hand their firearm to a partner when crossing fences and other obstructions,” continued Hupp. “The mere act of handing your firearm to someone constitutes a transfer, and would turn safety-abiding sportsmen into criminals subject to Class B misdemeanor.”

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.