Learn your state's gun laws

In Missouri, Senator Kurt Schaefer is working to get a new gun law on the books. If it goes through, the law would make it legal for people to shoot those who are trespassing on their property, using deadly force. The proposal is rather controversial and it's unclear if it will go through, but it's worth keeping an eye on for residents of the state.

Stand Your Ground

The law has been compared to another controversial law, called the “Stand Your Ground” law, which is used in Florida. It was this law that was referenced in the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2013. There was a bit of a push to phase out these types of laws after that event, but it appears Missouri is going in the opposite direction.

The amendment that would create this law has been tacked onto another crime bill. That bill is Senate Bill 663. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the status, as it could go through even if lawmakers don't agree with it, because they want to pass the rest of the bill. Conversely, if this amendment holds the process up, a bill that otherwise would have been passed could be blocked. This is a fairly common occurrence when bills are altered as they move through the House and the Senate.

The Situation

The bill does not simply say that people can shoot trespassers for any reason, however, as a certain situation would have to present itself. The person who owns the property has to hold a reasonable belief that he or she needs protection from serious injury or death. The person can also be protecting himself or herself against a forcible felony, such as rape. Finally, the shooting could be done to protect another person -— a spouse, for example -— or even an unborn child.

Following the Progress

As noted, this has not gone through yet, but it will be interesting to see how it outlines gun laws in Missouri going forward. If it does pass, it could play an enormous role in shooting cases in the future, extending what people are allowed to do in self-defense. All residents should keep an eye on its progress to see if it becomes a state law.