Missouri’s two largest and most violent cities are working to find loopholes in the state’s relaxed gun laws.
According to the St. Louis Police Department’s homicide report, the city has had 103 reported homicides this year. In Kansas City, the police department there says 129 homicides have been reported so far in 2023.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said the city plans to file gun legislation soon to address the city’s gun violence problems.
“Absolutely we’ve been threading the legal needle,” said Jones. “We have an excellent policy department in the mayor’s office that has been looking feverishly at all of our gun laws and finding where the loopholes are.”
The bill would:
• Ban “military-grade” assault weapons
• Prevent the sale or transfer of guns to minors
• Take action on ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms
• Prepare St. Louis for the passage of Blair’s Law, which would ban the firing of gunfire into the air to celebrate an occasion
• Prohibit anyone convicted of insurrection or hate crimes from having guns in St. Louis
“So, the legislation we’ll ultimately be filing in the coming days are things that are not currently covered in the state legislature. Does that mean that they won’t try to pass things later on? Absolutely. Or sue us? Absolutely. But again, you know, the state legislature has us fighting crime with our hands tied behind our backs. And so, with the one hand free that we do have, we’re going to fight like hell,” said Jones.
The Kansas City Council has passed two proposals – one to ban machine guns, firearm silencers and guns that are turned into fully automatic weapons. The second one makes it illegal to transfer weapons and ammunition to minors.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said he’s confident the proposals comply with Missouri law.
A news release from Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office said he has put Jones “on notice” that her office’s proposal would violate Missourians’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“Your proposal would not survive the strict scrutiny analysis codified in the Missouri Constitution, which requires a compelling state interest to be addressed with a remedy that is narrowly-tailored. Not even you believe that your proposal is narrowly-tailored to actually stop crime, as evidenced by your statement that, ‘Chicago has strict gun laws as well but that doesn’t deter gun violence.’ It is my hope that you will reverse course and use existing law to combat the crime plaguing your city, rather than choosing to target the rights of law-abiding Missourians.”
Missouri law allows people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
“I understand the need to protect the community, but people having guns can protect themselves and their community as well. I see other cities, like Chicago, who have some of the most restrictive gun laws on the books, and they’re the most violent cities on the books. So, we need to be going after criminals, not guns,” Bailey told Missourinet.”
In 2021, the Missouri Legislature passed the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which penalizes police for enforcing federal gun laws. A federal court ruled the law is unconstitutional. Bailey is appealing the court’s decision.
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