Celebratory Gunfire Legislation Introduced

Three Missouri lawmakers are leading a bipartisan effort to criminalize celebratory gunfire. Their bills would create what is called “Blair’s Law,” in honor of 11 year-old Blair Shanahan Lane, who was killed by an errant bullet fired during a 4th of July celebration in 2011.

Representatives Rory Rowland of Independence, Nick Schroer of O’Fallon, and Mark Sharp of Kansas City have filed House Bills 722, 795, and 99, respectively. They were presented to the House Committee on General Laws, which heard from Blair’s mother, Michelle Shanahan DeMoss.

Representative Schroer said as he was growing up his family sometimes went to the basement during times of celebration because guns were being fired into the air in the region.

Captain Kari Thompson is the Assistant Division Commander for the Homeland Security Division of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. She said the legislation would make a common sense change in the law.

Blair was hit in the neck by a bullet fired by a Kansas City man, who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He served 18 months in prison. Had one of these measures been in place he could’ve faced additional prison time for the charge it would create.

The committee has not voted on the legislation.