Missouri State Representative Stacey Newman is deeply concerned about the state’s gun violence, and figures perhaps it might help matters to make guns a little harder to buy. Luckily, she’s got a perfect model right in front of her: Missouri’s abortion restrictions, some of the most onerous in the country.
As St. Louis magazine reports, Newman has pre-filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would subject gun buyers to the exact same restrictions currently faced by people seeking abortions.
You can read the full text of House Bill 1397 here; it sweetly proposes that gun buyers have a 72-hour waiting period imposed upon them, and have to “confer and discuss with a licensed physician” about the risk factors that might arise “from the proposed firearm purchase:”
Prior to any firearm purchase in this state, a prospective firearm purchaser shall, at least seventy-two hours prior to the initial request to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer located at least one hundred twenty miles from such purchaser’s legal residence, confer and discuss with a licensed physician the indicators and contraindicators and risk factors, including any physical, psychological, or situational factors, that may arise with the proposed firearm purchase. Such physician shall then evaluate the prospective firearm purchaser for such indicators and contraindicators and risk factors and determine if such firearm purchase would increase such purchaser’s risk of experiencing an adverse physical, emotional, or other health reaction.
Gun buyers would also have to watch a 30-minute video “on fatal firearm injuries” and verify in writing that he or she viewed the entire video “in the presence of a licensed firearm dealer.” There’s more:
Verify in writing by a licensed physician that the purchaser has toured an emergency trauma center in the nearest qualified urban hospital on a weekend between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. when gun violence victims are present.
Within seventy-two hours of a firearm purchase, the prospective firearm purchaser shall meet with at least two families who have been victims of violence involving a firearm and two local faith leaders who have officiated, within the past year, a funeral of a victim of violence involving a firearm who was under the age of eighteen
Missouri passed a 72-hour waiting period on abortions in 2014, among the longest in the country. The Missouri House attempted to pass a bill last year that would have required women to watch an “explanatory video” on abortions, which died in committee.
Newman knows, of course, that the bill is doomed to failure. As St. Louis points out, she proposed a similar measure last year that would have restricted vasectomies, making them only legal to protect a man from serious injury or death. And while useless gestures should generally be avoided in politics, this one, at least, makes a point, as Newman told the magazine in a statement: “Since restrictive policies regarding a constitutionally protected medical procedure are the GOP’s legislative priority each year, it makes sense that their same restrictions apply to those who may commit gun violence. Our city mayors and law enforcement drastically need help in saving lives.”
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