A criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is touting a proposed ballot initiative that would allow counties across Missouri to enact their own firearms restrictions.

Richard Rosenfeld is part of a group hoping to get the issue on next year’s statewide ballot.

“There’s a single set of regulations that apply statewide,” he said. “Counties differ from one another in all kinds of ways. The needs and preferences of people who live in sparsely populated rural counties are not necessarily the same as those who live in more urbanized counties.”

Rosenfeld gives some examples of what types of laws county governments would be able to enact.

“A county could decide that a lawful permit is required to own or carry a firearm, (or) age restrictions on open carry could be established — a red flag law could be established,” he said. “All of these regulations would be established by county ordinance.”

Rosenfeld suggested the ballot initiative route is the only way to give counties the right to pass their own laws regulating firearms, due to Republican leaders’ strong opposition to placing any sort of limit on Second Amendment rights. Democrats have filed several such bills in recent years that have gone nowhere in the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature.

Rosenfeld said his group, called Sensible Missouri, plans to survey state residents as part of organizing a ballot initiative effort.

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.