For about twelve years, a Missouri mother who lost her daughter to gunfire has been patiently waiting for the state legislature to create a criminal offense for celebratory gunfire. That day came on Friday, when Michele Shanahan DeMoss watched as the Missouri House passed “Blair’s Law.”

Her daughter, Blair Shanahan Lane, died on July 4, 2011, as a result of someone firing gunshots in the air to celebrate.

Shanahan DeMoss said Friday was an emotional day.

“I woke up this morning and said, ‘This is the day. Let’s do it.’ I just felt without any hesitation that it would happen,” she told reporters.

Shanahan DeMoss explained why she has continued to fight for the bill’s passage each year since Blair’s life was cut short.

“She (Blair) was my only child, like my entire world. And she is still my child and I am still her example. So, to persevere for something that I know will make a difference is, without any hesitation, been something that I have stood by and will continue standing by it. I’ve asked, you know, what is my purpose? Or, you know, I think at one point I said why? And this is my why,” said Shanahan DeMoss.

If Blair was alive today, she would be 24 years old.

She gave five people a second chance at life by donating her organs to them.

The legislature passed a crimefighting package last year with “Blair’s Law” provisions, but the plan was vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson over unrelated provisions removed from this year’s version.

This year’s bill is sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville. The Blair’s Law provision is sponsored by Rep. Mark Sharp, D-Kansas City.

The package would also:

*Toughen penalties for suspects who run from police

*Increase the punishment for harming or killing law enforcement animals

*Ban certain crimes being cleared from a person’s criminal record, including sexual acts with a nursing home resident, use of a child in sexual performance, promoting sexual performance of a child, and cross burning

*Increase the minimum age from 12 to 14 years old for a minor to be charged as an adult for any felony

*Clarify that 12 is the minimum age in which a minor could be tried as adult for certain offenses, such as murder, assault, and robbery

*Add 911 dispatchers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, or volunteer or full-time paid firefighters as eligible first responder personnel to receive services from Missouri’s Critical Incident Stress Management Program

*Create conviction review unit to investigate claims of innocence

The fate of the legislation is now up to Gov. Mike Parson to decide.

For more information on Senate Bill 754, click here.

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