This article is 8 years old. It was published on April 28, 2014.
Today, the mayors of Missouri’s two largest cities joined together in a strong show of unity against Missouri state legislation that seeks to nullify gun laws and weaken enforcement of them. Legislation in the House and the Senate would undermine the safety of urban neighborhoods.
Mayors James and Slay called the gun nullification legislation being debated in the State Capitol “absurd, embarrassing and dangerous,” especially for the state’s two largest cities – Kansas City and St. Louis.
“It’s time to realize that reducing crime in cities takes the help of everyone at the federal, state, and local level. This bill would hinder those partnerships and does nothing to make our neighborhoods safe,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. “Mayor Slay and I do not have time for political ideological games. We have to deliver services to our residents and figure out a way to end the bloodshed in our cities. I hope the General Assembly votes down this bill and focuses on things that may actually do some good – like expanding Medicaid and early childhood education opportunities for all children.”
Missouri’s lax gun laws have flooded urban neighborhoods with cheap weapons. If that isn’t bad enough, the legislation under debate goes a step further by making it even harder for police and prosecutors to partner with federal authorities to fight violent crime.
It sides with criminals over the federal authorities who help rid urban neighborhoods of violent criminals, gangs and drug dealers.
“Reducing crime, especially violent crime, is vitally important to the health and the future of our City. But, we cannot do it alone. Last summer, the City partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney to take 159 dangerous criminals and 267 guns off the streets,” said City of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. “Had this legislation been in effect, the ATF and the U.S. Attorney would not have participated in the task force. The violent criminals they arrested would still be in our neighborhoods terrorizing our citizens. I stand with the police; not criminals, drug dealers, felons and other miscreants.”
Some versions of the legislation being debated in the Missouri State Capitol actually seek to criminalize the task force’s work. All versions of the gun nullification bills would empower thugs to sue task force members – and permit courts to award criminals their attorneys’ fees.
Neither mayor is against guns, but rather, are against guns in the hands of criminals.
“It should be harder for dangerous people to buy guns,” said Mayor Slay. “It should be easier for police and federal agents to remove them from our streets. It is a topsy-turvy world when that is not self evident. Such is the world of Jefferson City.”
“Mayor Slay and I swore a solemn oath to support and uphold the U.S. Constitution and to faithfully discharge the duties of our offices,” said Mayor James. “We may be fighting a losing battle. But, we intend to do everything we can to uphold our oaths.”
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