ST. LOUIS — An organization that emerged last year with the goal of putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2024 to ask voters if local municipalities should be able to pass their own gun laws has conceded that the effort will not move forward this year.

Sensible Missouri submitted three versions of potential ballot language last June that differed on which counties could enact their own gun laws. 

In the wake of the Super Bowl victory parade shooting in Kansas City that killed one and injured 22, on Feb. 14, Missouri House Democrats submitted House Joint Resolutions mirroring the Sensible Missouri language that would also lead to a statewide vote. The resolutions are unlikely to pass in the General Assembly with Republicans holding supermajorities in both chambers, but lawmakers also hoped the move might put some wind in the sails for Sensible Missouri’s work.

A Sensible Missouri spokesperson confirmed late last week that it never put petitions into the field and that its focus has shifted to 2026.

The group did polling on which specific question would merit the most support from a petition campaign, but in August, University of Missouri-St. Louis professor emeritus Richard Rosenfeld, one of the Sensible Missouri’s leaders, told Spectrum News that the results didn’t look good and that efforts were on hold.

Rosenfeld died in January.

A source tells Spectrum News that another organized effort to put a gun-related question up for a statewide vote played a role in Sensible Missouri’s decision to stand down last fall. That effort also never officially materialized.

“There were questions about the timeline and other constitutional amendments that made us think this cycle was not the right time,” Sensible Missouri said in a statement.

There is a May 5 deadline to submit signed petitions to the Secretary of State’s office. Organized petition drives for legalizing sports gambling and abortion rights are already well underway, among many others. 

State Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, the Minority Floor Leader and a candidate for governor, told Spectrum News lawmakers were not aware that the Sensible Missouri campaign for 2024 had folded when they introduced the resolutions last week.

“Them not putting folks in the field is all the more reason why these HJR's should be moved through the process by the Speaker. Missourians deserve action,” she said.