Study shows gun homicides up after repealed permit law

Feb 18, 2013

A new Johns Hopkins University study suggests a connection between decreased gun regulations and increased crime in Missouri.

Missouri repealed its permit-to-purchase law in 2007. That means that you don’t need a sheriff’s permit to buy a gun.  Johns Hopkins researcher Daniel Webster said after this law was repealed, homicides jumped by 25 percent in the state [PDF]. Many other states still require a sheriff’s permit, which Webster said is a good idea.  

“I think it’s a very different thing to ask someone to buy a gun for you if it simply means filling out a form at a gun dealer to apply for a permit than it is to show up at the local sheriff’s office, for example, and be fingerprinted and photographed and sign a form saying that you’re not purchasing this gun for anyone other than yourself," Webster said.

But, not all legislators agree. Representative Casey Guernsey, a Republican from northwest Missouri, said there are other factors contributing to increased gun crime.

"Our time should be spent focusing on those issues that relate to our mental health systems in Missouri especially, but certainly in this country, and then also societal problems," Guernsey said.

Guernsey is sponsoring a bill that would make it a crime to enforce new federal gun laws in the state.