Debate on a bill that would lower the age to apply for a conceal and carry permit diverted into a discussion of how urban Missouri views firearms differently than rural Missouri.

The floor debate in the House on HCS/HB 294, 123, 125, 113, 271 & 215 began simple enough, dividing between those asserting their Second Amendment right to bear arms and those more cautious about guns. The combined bills would make a number of changes to state law, the primary one being to lower the minimum age to apply for a conceal and carry weapons permit from 23 to 21.

Kansas City Representative Michael Brown changed course, reminding colleagues that firearms in the urban core aren’t used against animals.

“We just had a funeral where the gang member was shot dead and the rival gang came and shot up the funeral,” Brown told colleagues during House floor debate. “What was odd about shooting up the funeral at a church; the people who were at the service fired back!”

Brown understood his inquiry was rhetorical There aren’t answers to his question.

“What kind of bill can you have for me, so that these young people aren’t killing each other?” Brown asked.

Groping for an answer was Rep. Doug Funderburk (R-St. Peter’s) who suggested none of those involved in the shootings were registered to carry a concealed weapon.

“I understand the problem you’re talking about,” Funderburk replied, “but statistics truly bear out that this type of legislation only improves those situations. It never, ever has made it worse.”

The House has advanced the firearms bill. Another successful vote sends it to the Senate.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1:10 MP3]

AUDIO: Rep. Michael Brown (D-Kansas City) questions Rep. Doug Funderburk (R-St. Peter’s) on firearms bill [15 min. MP3]