JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) –– The Arizona shootings created a national debate over large capacity ammunition clips. In Missouri, some defend the clips as lawmakers pass legislation to expand second amendment rights.
“Sometimes you need a full-size magazine because you have a full-size problem,” Kevin Jamison, President of the Missouri Sport Shooting Association said. “While that happens rarely, when it happens to you, that’s a hundred percent of the time.”
A killing spree in front of a Tucson grocery store more than two months ago left six people dead and thirteen wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Police say the accused gunman, Jared Loughner, used a high-capacity magazine containing thirty-two rounds.
Some states are considering a ban on high-capacity ammunition. But among more than fifteen hundred bills filed this year, not a single one has been filed in Missouri about restricting ammunition as of the end of March.
Communications Director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Ladd Everitt says restrictions on magazine size could have saved lives in Tucson.
“He hit 19 people with those 32 rounds. I mean this was a guy with no military training, he wasn’t a former cop,” Everitt said admittedly. “He was a kid that had bought guns and gone to the range a few times and he was able to hit that number of people in a span of just 15 seconds killing six of them.”
Attorney Dale Roberts teaches firearms law for the Missouri Bar Association as well as concealed carry certification classes in Columbia. He disagrees saying, “the law doesn’t require me to demonstrate need. The law says I have a right to own things.”
Everitt questions the legitimate need for owning massive amounts of ammunition saying, “You don’t need anything larger than a 10-round magazine to defend your home.”
Meanwhile, the Missouri legislature is considering bills that would put more guns in the hands of Missourians.
The House passed a package of six pro-gun bills, including a measure lowering the minimum age to carry a concealed weapon from 23 to 21.
Mid-Missouri Republican Representative Jeanie Riddle sponsored the bills. “This bill deals with law abiding citizens to protect their God-given, constitution guaranteed right.”
If passed, this bill would be the first change to Missouri’s concealed carry law since the state began issuing permits six years ago.
Roberts says lowering the age requirement is a good idea. Missouri currently has one of the highest age requirements in the country.
But not everyone is happy with this movement to expand Second Amendment rights. Democratic Representative Jill Schupp asks “Why we think 21 year olds should not be able to serve on the Board of Curators and yet, we think it’s okay for them to carry a gun with them makes no sense to me.”
Copyright KMOX Radio State Capitol Bureau