Missouri Municipal League and Banning Discharge of Firearms

In Newsletter No. 261 of June 2007, the Missouri Municipal League (MML) encouraged cities and municipalities to act before August 28th of this year to create ordinances/laws prohibiting the discharge of weapons within city limits.

August 28th is when Missouri Senate Bill 225 goes into affect. This bill, referred to as the "Hunting Heritage Protection Areas Act", states that "the discharge of firearms for hunting, sport, and other lawful purposes shall not be prohibited in hunting heritage protection areas, which are defined as the 100-year floodplains of the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency."

The areas affected are only the 100-year floodplains of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. However, the MML has encouraged all of its members to pass laws prohibiting hunting and weapon discharge within their city limits before August 28th. SB225 has a clause in it which allows any such law in affect before August 28th to stand and remain on the books.

Interestingly, SB225 already has a provision in it which specifically exempts areas designated as "urbanized areas according to the 2000 U.S. Census". Additionally it exempts "land used by facilities that are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; land used for the operation of physical ports of commerce and customs ports; land within Kansas City and St. Louis City; and land located within one-half mile of an interstate highway, as such highway exists as of August 28, 2007."

There are already plenty of laws and ordinances on the books with which a person who discharges a firearm can be charged. So, the questions are- Why the push to get all MML member cities to pass these laws before August 28th? If the "urban areas" (i.e.- cities and towns) on the 100-year floodplains are already exempt, why do they need to pass yet another new law? Why do cities not on the 100-year floodplains need to pass yet another new law?

Here is an excerpt from Missouri Municipal League Newsletter No. 261 of June 2007 (as of August 9th, 2007):

"DISCHARGE OF WEAPONS WITHIN THE CITY aEU| The General Assembly adopted H.B. 327 that allows hunting and the discharge of weapons within the city limits in Missouri and Mississippi River flood plains. They also passed S.B. 225 that allowed cities to prohibit such activities if the ordinance was passed before August 28, 2007. The bills are in conflict and, at this time, no one seems to know which will prevail. The Governor may veto H.B. 327. If you do not now have an ordinance prohibiting hunting and the discharge of weapons within the city, we encourage you to do so before August 28, 2007. We have an excellent sample ordinance from LeeaEU(tm)s Summit on the MML Web site."

Relevant Links:
-- Mo Senate Bill 225
-- Missouri Municipal League