A bill currently making its way through the Missouri House of Representatives that would require all Missourians to own a rifle is garnering national attention.
House Bill 108, sponsored by State Rep. Andrew McDaniel, R-Deering, a former sheriff’s deputy from Pemiscot County, would establish the McDaniel Militia Act, which requires every person between 18 and 35 years of age who can legally possess a firearm to own an AR-15 and authorizes a tax credit for the purchase of an AR-15.
Deering told the Associated Press he proposed the AR-15 bill and a similar one involving handguns to lure House Democrats into an argument about government mandates and proposals to add more requirements and barriers for law-abiding citizens.
Although the bill has not been assigned to a committee and no formal hearings have been held, groups for and against firearms have noticed the legislation.
In addition to requiring ownership, the bill also provides a 75 percent tax credit if a firearm is purchased by an individual and the tax credit limitations are specified in the bill.
The bill does not prohibit the sale and transfer of AR-15s so long as the resident of the requisite age possesses one during their time as a resident of Missouri.
State Rep. Nate Tate, R-St. Clair says he doesn’t think the government should force people to own a gun if they don’t want one.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to the bill sponsor about his intent with the bill,” he said. “I know many folks are concerned about the bill and some think it’s a good idea.”
Tate stressed the fact the only two actions on the bill were taken in late February.
“I think it’s important to understand this bill is not moving fast and hasn’t had a public hearing yet,” he said. “I will talk to the bill sponsor when we get back from spring break.”
State Rep. Aaron Griesheimer says he’s confident the bill isn’t going anywhere since it hasn’t even been assigned to a committee.
To be frank, I believe the bill was filed for two reasons, to get attention, and as a joke,” he said. “It establishes the “McDaniel Militia” and the sponsor of the bill is Andrew McDaniel.”
Despite his doubts on the bill’s future, Griesheimer says he fully supports the Second Amendment and believes it’s every legal American’s right to own a firearm.
State Rep. John Simmons, R-Krakow, says this particular bill has not come across his radar and he hasn’t had any inquiries about it either way.
“I don’t know the history of the bill, or if something similar has been filed in previous years,” he said. “Since it hasn’t been assigned to a committee yet, I don’t imagine it will.”
Simmons added he is a staunch Second Amendment Rights defender, but he specifically doesn’t like this bill because it requires an individual to purchase or own an AR-15.
“I prefer the freedom to exercise my rights as I see fit not through government dictates,” he said. “Rights are inherently owned by us as individuals through nature and of nature’s God.”
The bill language states any person who qualifies as a resident on Aug. 28, 2019, and who does not own an AR-15 shall have one year to purchase an AR-15.
Any resident who qualifies as a resident after Aug. 28, 2019, and does not own an AR-15 shall purchase an AR-15 no later than one year after qualifying as a resident.
A resident may sell an AR-15, provided that the resident owns at least one AR-15 for the entire time he or she qualifies as a resident.
For all tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019, a taxpayer who did not own an AR-15 before required and who purchased an AR-15 in order to satisfy the requirements is allowed to claim a tax credit against such taxpayer’s income tax liability equal to 75 percent of the cost of the AR-15 purchased.