U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay wants to end state laws that stop cities from regulating guns.
The bill the University City Democrat introduced earlier this week would withhold Department of Justice grant money from states that have laws prohibiting local governments from passing their own gun laws. Missouri passed such a law in 2014.
Clay touted the proposed legislation on Friday, saying the state Legislature has refused to take action to prevent gun violence in St. Louis.
“In St. Louis and across the nation, we are faced with an ugly, obscene, inescapable truth: Gun violence is a public health emergency.”
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson joined Clay and other local leaders at Children’s Hospital in the Central West End to speak in support of the bill. Both said St. Louis should be able to pass its own gun laws to fit the city’s needs.
“A one-size-fits-all approach hasn’t been working,” Krewson said. “We face challenges that are separate and distinct from other parts of the state, and we have unique solutions to provide here to those challenges.”
If the bill becomes law, Krewson said she would like to restore permit carry in St. Louis. Currently, an individual does not need a permit to carry a gun in Missouri.
So far, the bill has over a dozen cosponsors in the Democratic-controlled House, but Clay said he is still looking for a sponsor to introduce a version in the Republican-controlled Senate. The proposal has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
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