Missouri Senator Schupp Pre-files “Closing the Domestic Violence Loophole Act” to Keep Victims Safe From Gun Violence

“We must turn talk into action and bring this bill to a vote,” Sen. Schupp says

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) Missouri Senator Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, has filed legislation to help prevent convicted domestic abusers from possessing a firearm.  According to Missouri State Highway Patrol data, in 2018, 60 Missourians died from being shot during a domestic violence incident.

Recently, Missouri mayors and law enforcement leaders petitioned the governor to support closing the “Domestic Violence Loophole” to help address the state’s rate of gun deaths which, according to the CDC, is the 6th highest in the country.

“Missouri’s lax laws are keeping guns in the hands of known violent abusers, leading to injuries and deaths that can be prevented with the passage of this law.  Most of the time, the victims are women.  These are lives that could have been saved by mirroring federal law and giving law enforcement the tools they need to combat domestic violence,” Sen. Schupp said.  “I appreciate the bipartisan support that has recently pushed this issue to the forefront; now we must turn talk into action and bring this bill to a vote.”

Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm by anyone convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.  However, federal law does not apply to a boyfriend or girlfriend who is dating the victim, but not sharing a residence or children.  Senator Schupp’s legislation would close this loophole by extending these prohibitions at the state level to include boyfriends and girlfriends. In addition, Sen. Schupp’s legislation would bring Missouri’s statutes in line with the federal law so that local law enforcement can protect victims and prosecute criminals.

Senator Schupp’s legislation is similar to bipartisan laws already passed in 29 other states, including Missouri’s neighboring states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Tennessee.  Senator Schupp filed similar legislation in 2018 and 2019.

In addition to closing the Domestic Violence Loophole, Sen. Schupp will pre-file two additional bills to prevent gun violence and improve public safety by:

  • Requiring background checks for all firearm transfers and purchases; and
  • Establishing an “extreme risk order of protection” procedure through the courts to temporarily keep firearms away from persons posing a “red flag” or significant risk of causing injury to themselves or others.