A piece of Missouri legislation is getting national attention, because some Missouri lawmakers want to ban assault weapons.The bill’s sponsors are democrats from the St. Louis area. The lawmakers point to the recent mass shootings across the country, including the killing spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, as the reason behind Bill 545.The bill has a lot of elements, including banning guns with certain grips or collapsible stocks, but the main thing it would do is ban any semi-automatic weapon able to fire more than ten rounds without reloading.”I don’t think we have to have all these guns sitting around that countless times have lead to terrible disasters,” said Democratic Representative Rory Ellinger from University City. He introduced the bill and is ready to talk gun control, first wanting to ban certain guns. “These assault weapons have no place in a civilized society except when we have an outside threat and that’s what we have the military for,” said Ellinger.Other lawmakers who back the bill agree with Ellinger. When ABC 17 News asked Democratic Representative Jill Schupp from Creve Couer why she wants to ban assault weapons, she said “I think those are the most dangerous ones, those are the ones we see in most mass shootings.” These lawmakers consider the ban as a solution, but how far would it go?ABC 17 News took the bill to a gun shop to find out what would be illegal if the bill is passed. They pointed out any weapon with a detachable magazine, or a pistol grip, or a thumb hole would be banned. “At the very minimum it would knock out just about every magazine gun in America,” said Jim Hill with Target Masters in Columbia.While that is the goal of the bill supporters, other lawmakers disagree. “It mystifies me that anyone would think it’s a good idea, it really is a non starter. It doesn’t solve anything in fact I would say it creates more problems,” said Republican Representative Casey Guernsey of Bethany. Those opposed to the bill said the bottom line is it crosses a constitutional right. “The Second Amendment isn’t about hunting; it’s about being able to protect yourself and being able to keep guns in your home for self protection,” said Guernsey.While there is a lot of disagreeing, the hope is something can be accomplished. “We don’t have to agree on everything about this but we should agree its time to do something, to stop the slaughter that’s going on in America,” said Guernsey.All of the lawmakers ABC 17 News spoke with do not believe this bill will pass, but the goal was more or less to start the important conversations.Lawmakers in support of the bill say they’ve received threatening messages, and they hope this topic can be rationally discussed in the future.
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