Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, briefs Capitol reporters (file photo courtesy of Ben Peters at House Communications)

A group of state lawmakers wants to talk about gun violence in the special legislative session scheduled for September 11.

The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus has drafted a letter to Gov. Mike Parson, asking him to add consideration of a law to allow cities with high incidents of gun violence to pass their own gun control legislation.  The governor called lawmakers back for a special session to clear up a vehicle sales tax technicality.

The MLBC argues that the rate of child deaths caused by shootings is a more serious matter. Caucus chairman, Rep. Steve Roberts of St. Louis says that since the letter was drafted, another child bystander was shot and killed, bringing the total to 13 this year.

Gov. Parson today denied that request and issued the following statement:

“While the issue of how to reduce violence in our urban areas certainly needs addressed [sic], there are also many different opinions on how to find a solution. However, special session is not the correct avenue. If we are to change violent criminal acts in Missouri, it will take all of us at the federal, state, local, and community levels working together toward that common goal,” said Governor Parson.

Caucus member Ashley Bland Manlove, D-Kansas City, said, “Kansas City and St. Louis have shamefully and consistently ranked in the top ten deadliest cities for at least the past ten years. This is now a public health crisis. With double-digit numbers in both cities of children being murdered, it’s time to give individual municipalities the ability to regulate how weapons flow through our neighborhoods. We must change the law now.”