Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed introducing public safety legislation for failed background checks for firearm purchases

The increased use of guns and the flow of illegal guns into the City has negatively impacted the overall safety of the residents.

September 11, 2019 | 2 min reading time

This article is 2 years old. It was published on September 11, 2019.

Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed will be introducing legislation establishing reporting requirements for licensed dealers selling firearms. The legislation requires the dealer to report when a firearm purchase is denied from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. 

“The increase of guns within our City has negatively impacted all of those who reside, work and play in the City of St. Louis. It’s hard to watch the news or read the paper without hearing or reading about another incident involving a firearm. We have to do something to reduce the chance of a weapon ending up in the wrong hands,” said Reed. 

The new law will prohibit people who attempt to buy guns and fail the background check from creating a serious public safety threat. In fact, the data show that 30 percent of criminals who try to buy a gun and fail the background check are rearrested within 5 years. This common sense piece of public safety legislation will alert law enforcement that a potential crime has been committed, empowering them to intervene before a person with a dangerous history get their hands on a gun.

Various organizations support efforts against gun violence throughout our City. Karen Rogers, volunteer chapter leader with the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America agrees with the action being taken at the Board of Aldermen. “Preventing gun violence takes more than words - it takes action. Once again, city officials are acting to make St. Louis safer. This is a meaningful step that will help law enforcement investigate people who try to buy guns despite being legally barred from doing so,” said Rogers. 

In 2018, there were 1,419 aggravated assaults with a firearm in the City of St. Louis; and 187 lives were lost due to homicide with 93.6 percent of the homicides committed by the use of a firearm. To date, there have been more than 1,750 aggravated assaults with a firearm in the City and 138 lives lost due to homicide.

Board Bill 106 will be introduced and assigned to a committee on Friday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. 


In 2007, Lewis E. Reed became President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the first African-American elected to be President of the Board of Aldermen in the history of the Board. As President of the Board of Aldermen, he manages and leads the entire legislative branch towards working for the residents and the future of the City of St. Louis. Learn more here.

  • Contact Information:
    Mary Goodman
    Legislative Director to Board of Aldermen President Lewis E. Reed
    Office Phone: (314) 622-4114
  • Department:
    President of the Board of Aldermen
  • Topic:
    Policy Making

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