JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson is asking lawmakers to approve legislation that would allow judges to decide whether a child between the ages of 12-18 should be tried as an adult in court for unlawful use of weapons and armed criminal action.
This comes two years after legislators passed a measure that raised the age to be tried as an adult from 17-18 years old, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Parson is asking the General Assembly to approve the legislation in a special session.
Police and prosecutors support the change, but groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Empower Missouri oppose it.
The proposal is part of a crime package that would also change child endangerment laws by including when a person aids or encourages a child younger than 17 to commit a weapons offense. It also includes a harsher penalty for anyone who sells or delivers a firearm to a juvenile without parental consent.