Rep. Andrew McDaniel seems to be engaged in some master-level legislative trolling. The Missouri house member has introduced a bill that would mandate ownership of an AR-15 rifle by all Show Me State citizens over 21 years of age.
The Riverfront Times, St. Louis’s “alternative” newspaper, isn’t exactly thrilled by the idea.
While Missouri politicians have long tried to outdo each other over pro-gun legislation, the latest bill may be impossible to top — a law mandating that every Missouri resident aged 18 to 35 purchase an AR-15-style rifle.
No, this is not the Onion. And yes, that’s the very weapon targeted by gun reform activists and in an ongoing lawsuit filed by families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook massacre.
Introduced last month by state Representative Andrew McDaniel (R-Deering), the bill, titled the “McDaniel Militia Act,” would create a state tax credit (capped at $1 million annually) to function as an incentive for residents not yet strapped with Big Government’s preferred Big Gun — the AR-15. Purchasers could then claim the tax credit on up to 75 percent of the gun’s cost.
The bill’s text states, “Any person who qualifies as a resident on August 28, 2019, and who does not own an AR-15 shall have one year to purchase an AR-15… Every resident of this state shall own at least one AR-15″ [emphasis added].
And that’s not even McDaniel’s only bill aiming to arm the masses: Two days before introducing his Militia Act, the Bootheel-area representative introduced the “McDaniel Second Amendment Act,” which “requires every person 21 years of age or older who can legally possess a firearm to own a handgun.”
That would make for whole a lot of gun sales, no?
Sadly for felons, who would probably would love to get in on this new proposal, the bill does carve out an exception; it only requires compliance from those who are legally permitted to possess firearms. And because of that, it’s hard to quantify how just how many gun purchases would result from the bill’s passage: According to state census data, Missouri holds about 1.5 million residents between the ages of 18 and 35, and about 4.5 million above the age of 21. Yet there’s no precise way to know how many would be legally barred from participating, much less how many Missourians already have an AR-15.
Lots. Missouri, after all, has extremely gun-friendly laws and is a constitutional carry state.
But don’t expect either of his bills to go anywhere. Look for them to be quietly buried by house leadership.
And while we certainly encourage every citizen who can own a firearm to exercise their Second Amendment rights if they choose, mandating that people buy an AR-15 — or any other gun — isn’t much better than passing a law that prohibits it.