(This story is written by Missourinet St. Louis contributor Jill Enders)

A dean of Missouri’s congressional delegation has filed legislation that would allow high crime cities to have stricter gun laws.

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, briefs reporters at St. Louis Children’s Hospital on June 28, 2019 (Jill Enders photo)

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, unveiled the proposed legislation during a Friday morning press conference at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

“In St. Louis and across this nation…we are faced with an ugly, obscene, inescapable truth…gun violence is a public health emergency. I’ve introduced H.R. 3435, the Local Public Health and Safety Protection Act, because like you, I’m tired of the violence. I’m tired of the excuses. And I’m tired of our state legislature being either unable, or just too frightened, to do something about gun violence – because they’re being held hostage by the NRA.” Clay adds.

State gun laws are often the same for low crime rural areas as they are for higher crime urban areas.  Clay’s legislation is an effort for cities such as St. Louis to tighten gun laws without the approval of state lawmakers.

State Rep. Jim Murphy, R-St. Louis County, is blasting the bill, tweeting that Democrats are using gun control laws “to cover up the fact that they fail to support police and fail to control crime.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson joined Clay at the press conference, noting she grew up in northern Missouri’s Moberly.

“I understand the relationship that folks all over the state have with guns, but what is best for Moberly, Missouri isn’t necessarily what’s best for St. Louis,” says Krewson.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden took to social media on Wednesday, saying 18 people have been shot in four days in the Gateway City. Chief Hayden says 89 people have been murdered in St. Louis this year, up from 83 during the same period in 2018.

Under Congressman Clay’s proposed legislation, which he coauthored with U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Illinois), states could not prohibit or restrict a local government from:

· Requiring background checks for firearms purchases;
· Restricting the ability to carry a firearm in public places. Restricting the quantity and type of ammunition that an individual is allowed to purchase;
· Requiring gun owners to safely store their firearms, especially in households with children;
· And prohibiting the sale and transfer of certain types of especially deadly firearms and accessories, including semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.

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