On July 6, Governor Mike Parson signed SB 600 to help address violent crime in Missouri. SB 600 modifies and creates several provisions relating to dangerous felonies, including offenses of conspiracy, unlawful possession of firearms, criminal street gangs, and vehicle hijacking.
“As Governor and a former law enforcement officer for 22 years, protecting the citizens of our state is of utmost importance to my administration. We all want our communities to be safe, and we worry when we see violent criminals threaten our neighborhoods,” Governor Parson said. “SB 600 holds violent offenders accountable for their actions and is a major step towards safety and justice for our communities. We must continue working together to identify solutions, address crime, and keep Missourians safe.”
Under current law, a person cannot be convicted of an offense based upon a conspiracy to commit the offense unless he or she committed an overt act. SB 600 independently criminalizes an agreement to commit a criminal offense, allowing law enforcement and prosecutors to hold individuals who plan criminal enterprises accountable.
SB 600 also creates mandatory prison sentences for many violent offenses. Individuals convicted of certain violent offenses will not be eligible for probation, conditional release, or suspended imposition or execution of sentence for the minimum period of imprisonment.
Additionally, SB 600 increases the penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a dangerous felony from a Class D felony to a Class C felony. The legislation also establishes the Missouri Criminal Street Gangs Prevention Act, which modernizes the approach to prosecuting criminal gangs and reduces the barriers to bringing gang members to justice, and creates the offense of vehicle hijacking criminalizing the use of force to steal a vehicle.