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Missouri Democrats propose forcing some gun owners to destroy, surrender weapons

Missouri Democrats are trying to rid the state of assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines.

Democrats in the state House have proposed a bill that would force gun owners to either surrender or destroy weapons including semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and semi-automatic pistols with a fixed magazine that can shoot more than 10 rounds before being reloaded.

Ammunition-feeding devices that can hold more than 10 rounds also would be banned. Owners also could send their weapons to another state instead of surrendering or destroying them and would have 90 days after the bill’s passage to make a decision.

However, the measure, backed by St. Louis-area lawmakers, is not expected to pass in the Republican-controlled House.

“The only way this bill will pass is if a hammer and sickle is sewn onto Old Glory,” tweeted state Rep. Caleb Jones, a Republican.

One of the bill’s sponsors, state Rep. Rory Ellinger, said last week he is a “realist” about the bill’s chances of passage but is serious about “some kind of control of weaponry.”

The proposal was made following the Dec. 14, 2012, fatal shootings of 20 first-graders and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. It also follows President Obama and fellow Democrats in the Senate trying to tighten gun laws, including universal background checks and bans similar to those posed by the Missouri Democrats.

The Missouri measure also would make manufacturing and importing such weapons a felony.

Ellinger said his measure focuses on only “military-style” weapons and doesn’t include handguns or hunting rifles, with Missouri being a largely conservative state.

Another Democrat-sponsored bill proposed this year in the state General Assembly would require parents to notify their child’s school if they own a firearm.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.