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Missouri lawmakers consider bill cracking down on celebratory gunfire

Blair's Law creates stiffer penalties
Blair Shanahan Lane
Posted at 5:56 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 18:58:28-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There's a renewed effort to get legislation passed in Missouri that would crack down on celebratory gunfire.

State Rep. Mark Sharp of Kansas City has introduced HB 1568, called "Blair's Law."

The legislation is named after Blair Shanahan Lane, who was struck and killed by celebratory gunfire during Fourth of July celebrations in 2011.

"It’s common-sense gun legislation and pushing forward for that is something I will continue to do," Blair's mother, Michele Shanahan DeMoss, said.

DeMoss has spent the time since her daughter's death educating people on the dangers of celebratory gunfire and advocating for "Blair's Law."

"There’s is no up or down that makes it right. It’s illegal whichever way you do it," DeMoss said.

Representative Sharp said previous versions of "Blair's Law" have been introduced in the Missouri legislature since Blair's death in 2011, but previous bills always fell short of becoming law.

“We have essentially five months to get bills passed and sometimes we simply run out of time," Sharp said.

The state lawmaker explained his bill has an escalating penalty system where a person can be charged with a misdemeanor for their first offense and a felony for their second or third firearms violation.

“We’re talking serious, significant prison time on these charges," Sharp said. "We want to make sure that we are sending a message from the Missouri legislature that we’re taking a tough stance against indiscriminate and negligent gunfire or within city limits.”

Sharp, a Kansas City Democrat, said his legislation has bipartisan support in the Republican controlled legislature and he's confident the bill will pass this session.