Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones announced that she has signed BB29 and BB82, which strengthen St. Louis’ gun laws and police accountability provisions, respectively. Both were passed out of the Board of Aldermen and sent to the mayor’s desk following feedback from SLMPD Chief Robert J. Tracy and the City Counselor to strengthen the bills.
“Gun violence takes a devastating toll on our communities. We need to use every tool in our toolbox to make our communities safer, no matter the scale,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “I appreciate Ald. Spencer and Ald. Aldridge for working with Chief Tracy and the City Counselor’s office to improve these bills, bringing them into compliance with state laws and addressing operational concerns. My office has been preparing further commonsense gun safety legislation, and we look forward to partnering with the Board on their return to help protect St. Louis families.”
BB29 regulates open carry in the City of St. Louis, prohibiting persons from openly carrying or displaying firearms unless they have a valid concealed carry permit on their person. Individuals who violate can be charged with “unlawful display of a weapon.” Those 18 and older are subject to a fine and up to 30 days incarceration or community service, or a fine and community service for juveniles. The Board removed a firearm confiscation provision from the bill via amendment.
BB82 strengthens police accountability in regards to consent searches and transparency, codifying existing SLMPD policy into ordinance. Unless it impairs criminal investigations or places the public or officer in danger, officers during consent searches will identify themselves with their name and badge number and explain the reason for said search. The new law will require SLMPD to publish quarterly reports detailing the number of search consents, refusals, and revocations while making policies available online. New York City and Syracuse, NY have implemented similar legislation.
“The passage of BB 82, also known as the ‘Right to Know’ legislation, plays a crucial role in ensuring that our law enforcement respects the rights of citizens during their interactions,” said bill sponsor Ald. Aldridge (14). “By equipping our police with the necessary tools for effective enforcement and maintaining citywide safety, can further build trust between law enforcement and all communities. I firmly believe that with the passage of this legislation, we can accomplish both objectives successfully.”