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Missouri Gov. Parson signs Blair’s Law covering celebratory gunfire

Blair Shanahan Lane
Posted at 11:49 AM, Jul 09, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a handful of bills Tuesday, including Blair’s Law, which stiffens penalties surrounding celebratory gunfire.

Tuesday’s bill signing was the culmination of several years of legislative efforts in honor of Blair Shanahan-Lane, who was struck and killed by celebratory gunfire in Kansas City, Missouri, when she was 11 years old.

Blair’s Law was part of Missouri Senate Bill 754, which contained several other public safety provisions. Parson signed the bill in a ceremony at the state capitol in Jefferson City.

KSHB 41 News reporter Megan Abundis spoke with Michele Shanahan DeMoss — Blair’s mother — last week about the bill finally becoming reality after her daughter died 13 years ago.

Michele Shanahan DeMoss and Blair Shanahan
Michele Shanahan DeMoss and Blair Shanahan

“A gun is supposed to be in the right hands; it’s not a toy; it shouldn’t just be fired recklessly, and too many people lose their life senselessly because someone is irresponsible with a gun,” she said in the interview.

Shanahan DeMoss was in Jefferson City Tuesday for the ceremony alongside KCPD Chief of Police Stacey Graves.

Graves posted a statement on social media Tuesday afternoon reacting to the bill's signing.

"For 13 years, Michele Shanahan DeMoss has fought in memory of her daughter, Blair, and for the safety of other Missourians," Graves wrote. "She has persevered with courage so that Kansas City residents and people across the state are safer."

Graves also thanked the elected officials who helped see the bill through to signing and offered advice to those who fire weapons into the air.

"Celebratory gunfire has no place in Missouri and the stricter state penalties for this reckless crime should weigh heavily on those who choose to break the law," Graves said.

Graves and MSD.jpeg
Kansas City, Missouri, Chief of Police Stacey Graves (left) and Michele Shanahan DeMoss the Missouri capitol for the signing of Blair's Law on July 9, 2024 in Jefferson City, Missouri.

The new law “specifies that a person commits the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm if he or she recklessly discharges a firearm within or into the limits of a municipality. Any such person shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense, a Class E felony for the second offense and a Class D felony for any third or subsequent offenses.”