JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — As Republican state lawmakers consider increased access to firearms, a new study claims Missouri's gun-friendly policies have increased gun violence.

The study's author says homicides involving firearms have increased in Missouri by 25 percent between 2008 and 2010. Daniel Webster, a professor and gun policy analyst at Johns Hopkins University, cites the repeal of the state's "permit to acquire law" in 2007 as the turning point.

Prior to that year, people had to get a permit and a background check from the local sheriff's office to acquire a firearm even in cases of private sales. Now, no such check is required for gun purchases.

Webster's research shows that Missouri's increased level of gun violence in the last five years runs counter to the national trend.