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2 Kansas City-area legislators file gun-related bills in Missouri after parade shooting

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Posted at 5:18 PM, Feb 19, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Missouri lawmakers Monday filed gun-related bills in response to last Wednesday's shooting at Kansas City's Union Station, which killed a mother of two and injured 22 other people.

Rep. Aaron Crossley's (D - Independence) measure would require age verification when buying ammunition.

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"While federal law requires someone to be 18 or older (to buy ammunition), there is no requirement to verify age," Crossley told the KSHB 41 I-Team. "This legislation would require sellers to verify a buyer's age, similar to existing laws for tobacco and alcohol sales."

Rep. Anthony Ealy (D - Grandview) filed a bill that would prohibit anyone – except law enforcement – from carrying firearms into a parade zone. The Jackson County Democrat's bill defines a parade zone as the parade route and any public area within one mile of that route.

Ealy's bill would also require organizers to set up checkpoints where those attending the parade would go through a metal detector or be scanned by security for firearms.

"This was a disgusting, foolish, and disrespectful incident," he said of the shooting. "My heart goes out to all of the families, players, legislators, and everyone in attendance. My heart especially goes out to all of the families who were victims, especially the deceased and the children. I have them all in my prayers."

The shooting touched a personal chord for Ealy, who witnessed the tragedy firsthand.

"I had to make sure myself and my guest were protected," he told the I-Team. "We ended up on lockdown with the Hunt family and cheerleaders in the basement. I know this will impact parades everywhere moving forward. I hope our state sets the example."

RELATED | Republicans scrap two gun law changes in Missouri after parade shooting

Crossley, however, isn't optimistic Republican lawmakers in Missouri will support any gun safety legislation.

"I must admit I have little faith in my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to take meaningful action," he said. "Last year's rejection of multiple amendments to allow local governments to set ordinances prohibiting unattended minors from carrying firearms in public is deeply troubling and reflects their lack of commitment to genuine public safety."

I-Team contacted 40 Missouri lawmakers 

The I-Team reached out to 40 state lawmakers – on both sides of the aisle – to see if they're considering any legislative action in the wake of last Wednesday's shooting.

Democrats said they've tried to pass reasonable gun laws, but their efforts are repeatedly blocked by Republicans.

"Democrats have always filed legislation to curb gun violence, and Missouri democrats are no different," Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove (D - Kansas City) told the I-Team. "Our hurdle is a Republican supermajority that won’t let our bills see the light of day. "

Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern (D - Kansas City) agreed.

"I, along with many of my Democratic colleagues, have filed legislation to combat gun violence," the Clay County lawmaker said. "Unfortunately, Republican leadership won't even grant these bills are hearing. They refuse to do anything to address the escalating gun violence in our state."

Nurrenbern, like thousands of others who attended the Chiefs' Super Bowl Parade, also saw the shooting firsthand.

"I was at Union Station when the shooting occurred and we ran for our lives," she said. "I'm thankful for the quick response from law enforcement and other first responders who prevented a terrible situation from becoming even worse."

She added: " (This) tragedy hardens my resolve to work to make sure that our kids can grow up in a Missouri that is free from gun violence."

Republican lawmaker Sherri Gallick (R - Belton) told the I-Team she wants more information before taking any legislative action.

"I realize words can ring hollow, but I am waiting to get more information with exact details on the individuals involved in the criminal actions, and incidents that ensued," said Galick, who represents portions of Cass and Bates counties. "My heart breaks for the families that have been impacted and the individuals that were shot or injured. It is very hard for me to wrap my head around anyone who would harm another human being, especially children. I will continue to pray for all involved."

Charges filed against 2 juveniles in connection to shooting 

The Jackson County Family Court on Friday announced charges against two juveniles in connection with the mass shooting at Union Station. The charges are for gun possession and resisting arrest, but the court said "additional charges are expected in the future as the investigation by the Kansas City Police Department continues."

Juvenile court records in Missouri are closed and the names or ages of the suspects are not known at this time.

A Family Court judge, however, could certify the two suspects to stand trial as adults.

If that happens, the case would move to the Jackson County Circuit Court and the two could be charged by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

On Friday, Baker said on social media that her office will "use every tool at my disposal under Missouri law that allows me to address this tragedy."

The shooting claimed the life of local radio DJ Lisa Lopez-Galvan and injured 22 other people, including at least nine children.