Missouri has some of nation’s weakest gun laws. Here’s how laws changed over 200 years

Missouri’s gun laws have evolved over the last two centuries, from before its statehood to the present day. Those changes, especially in recent years, have largely been toward the deregulation of firearms. Missouri’s gun laws consistently rank among the weakest in the country. 1818: Before Missouri was established as a state and just a portion of the Louisiana Purchase territory, the first weapons law was established for the area in 1818, which prohibited enslaved people from possessing guns, ammunition, clubs and other weapons while allowing whites to take guns from them. 1833: Tensions between Jackson County residents and Mormons, who claimed the county land as sacred, escalated when a violent mob drove members of the religion out of the area in 1833. Lilburn Boggs, the Missouri governor at the time, endorsed the violence and issued an extermination order to expel all Mormons by any means necessary, including lethal force. 1875: After the Civil War, Missouri became a hotbed for pro-Confederate guerilla warfare, post-war “lawlessness” and vigilantism in 1875. As a result, the state banned concealed weapons of all kinds, in all places. This ban, which was specifically enforced on people freed from slavery and thwart their ability to protect themselves, stayed in place for the next 128 years. 1945: Missouri revised its state constitution to explicitly ban all concealed weapons in 1945. The clause addressing concealed carry previously read: “But nothing herein contained is intended to justify the practice of wearing concealed weapons.” The language was updated to say: […]

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