“There is a significant problem with illegal gun trafficking in our city and while a lot of our criminal justice partners certainly try to make sure they root this out and address it, there are a lot of private actors that each day create new threats for the citizens of Kansas City, frankly for the citizens of our entire region,” Lucas said in a Tuesday press conference.
The guns were sold to former Kansas City Fire Department Capt. James Samuels who is now charged with federal gun trafficking. One of the firearms was used in a murder.
Mayor Lucas says they are not going after legal gun sales.
“Existing laws should be enforced and to the extent that those are not followed by actors, then there are harms thereafter and this legal action is saying those that are creating a public nuisance in Kansas City by not adhering to federal laws, those that have created public nuisances through their own negligence should be held to account in some way and should have to rectify and reform their practices,” Lucas said.
The lawsuit is aided by Everytown Law, part of the Everytown for Gun Safety effort.
The mayor says he will continue to talk with Gov. Mike Parson about the city’s violence problems while he’s in Jefferson City for the State of the State address. He will also meet in Jefferson City with other Missouri mayors who have been working together with the governor on crime solutions.
Lucas will also be lobbying for their public safety agenda.
“I continue to believe that we need to enhance our Missouri public defender system,” Lucas said, “We need to have more funding for jailing and incarceration — not to build more jails — but to make sure that we are actually humane in our treatment of inmates in the state of Missouri. Those are things we are working on and longterm, certainly mental health, trauma treatment services, particularly for victims of shootings and there were 480 of them in Kansas City, Missouri last year, is a key focus.”