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History of Firearms in MO MEMO

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Written by Dr. Sarah Anderson
Published on February 13, 2024
Research Highlights

Figure 1. Timeline of Missouri gun laws (yellow) and federal gun laws (blue) from 1960 to 2024. Data from RAND 2022, CRS 2019, and DOJ.

Learn more about gun policy in MO and how gun policy impacts gun violence in our Science Note History of Gun Policy in MO. See Figure 1 for a timeline of federal gun laws and MO gun laws from 1960 to present. Prior to 1960, MO had banned concealed carry (CCW) and required a permit to purchase a firearm which was obtained through the sheriff.

The Gun Control Act requires firearm dealers to have a federal firearm license (FFL). It regulates who can own firearms and what kind of firearms can be possessed. It regulates interstate firearm sales and transfers and establishes penalties (CRS 2019).

The Firearm Owner’s Protection Act prohibits the transfer and possession of machineguns, allows ammunition to be sold without an FFL, and amends several aspects of an FFL, such as where they can conduct business, who must have one, and penalties for FFLs. It also regulated gun registration, amended firearm possession, and established rules regarding GCA violations (DOJ).

Brady Law requires an FFL to perform background checks for gun purchases (DOJ).

The Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act put greater regulations on FFLs, including submission of photographs and fingerprints and their firearm business was required to comply with state and local laws. The Youth Handgun Safety Act bans people under the age of 18 from possessing a handgun (DOJ).

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act protects firearm manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when their products are used to commit crimes (CRS 2019).

In MO, school protection officers are a teacher or administrator who has volunteered for the position and is approved by the school board. The school protection officer must complete school protection officer training. They may carry a firearm on campus if they have a CCW permit (RsMO 160.665).


Works Cited

Cherney, S., Morral, A., Schell, T., Smucker, S., & Hoch, E. (2022, June 28). Development of the RAND State Firearm Law Database and Supporting Materials. Retrieved from RAND: https://www.rand.org/pubs/tools/TLA243-2-v2.html

Congressional Research Services. (2019, March 25). Federal Firearms Laws: Overview and Selected Legal Issues for the 116th Congress. Retrieved from CRS Reports: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R45629

U.S. Attorney and Burearu of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Field Division Directors. (n.d.). Gun Violence Reduction: National Integrated Firearms Violence Reduction Strategy Appendix C: History of Federal Firearms Laws in the United States. Retrieved from National Institute of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/archive/opd/AppendixC.htm#Appendix%20C

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