Kansas City Mayor Sly James has taken a stand against sweeping gun legislation the Missouri legislature could ensure becomes law.
Lawmakers vote Wednesday on whether to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a concealed carry bill which passed the legislature overwhelmingly this year. The measure would allow people to carry concealed weapons without permits.
Mayor James contends the law will intensify gun violence. “If you liken our gun violence problem to a person who has been recently diagnosed with lung cancer, it would be the equivalent of that person going out the day that they get their diagnosis and deciding to become a chain smoker, and buying packs of cigarette and smoking them everyday” said James. “It’s fueling the problem. It’s certainly not making it any better.”
James held a meeting Tuesday in Kansas City to urge lawmakers to sustain Governor Nixon’s veto. He didn’t hold back criticism of legislators who will vote to override it. “Rather than looking for solutions to our gun violence problems, our legislature is poised to double-down on stupid” said James.
A couple of Republican lawmakers criticized James for this comment. James responded by saying he wasn’t targeting lawmakers, but the legislation with his reference to “stupid”.
He went on to state problems he has with the measure. “It completely eliminates the need to secure a permit to carry a concealed weapon. It also eliminates the local sheriff’s ability to determine who can and who cannot, who should and should not carry a concealed weapon.”
James was joined at the Tuesday gathering by a number of local officials, including Kansas City Deputy Police Chief Cheryl Rose and Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp, who also spoke against the bill.
Several groups who also oppose the bill are holding a rally at the state capitol in Jefferson City Wednesday.
Republicans can override the gun veto if they vote as a block in both the House and Senate. The GOP holds a super majority in both chambers.