The minimum age to carry a concealed firearm would drop from 23 to 21 under a bill passing the legislature.
House sponsor, Rep. Jeannie Riddle (R-Mokane) told colleagues during House floor debate on the last day of the session that Missouri had the highest age requirement in the country. The legislation put together a number of House bills: 294, 123, 125, 113, 271 and 215. The combined measure passed easily in the House on the last day of the session, 125-to-25. It made a number of changes to firearms laws, but a main provision lowered the minimum age to apply for a conceal and carry permit.
The measure also will allow the aides to legislators to carry concealed weapons in the Capitol if they have a permit. Another provision enhanced penalties of those who repeatedly violate state firearms laws.
Though it won overwhelming support, some opposition was voiced during House floor debate.
Rep. Tishaura Jones (D-St. Louis) worries that the bill will relax firearms standards and lead to increase gun violence in St. Louis. Rep. Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) voiced concern than a lowering of the minimum age requirement would lead to increased gun sales, which she contended would lead to more shootings of innocent children.
The bill now goes to Governor Nixon for his consideration.