Rev. Darryl Gray | St. Louis Public Radio

Rev. Darryl Gray

The Rev. Darryl Gray helps organizers lead protest chants.
File Photo |Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri clergy members say they are “cautiously optimistic” after meeting with Gov. Mike Parson in St. Louis to find ways to address gun violence in the state.

Parson would not back down on rejecting calls for a special session on gun violence. He said the main way to address it is by working at the federal, state and local levels.

St. Louis faith leaders, elected officials and community leaders gathered at Lane Tabernacle CME Church to address the city's gun violence among children. August 30, 2019
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Two days after Gov. Mike Parson rejected calls for a special session to address gun violence, elected officials, faith leaders and doctors in St. Louis asked him to reconsider. 

On Friday, more than two dozen St. Louis leaders urged Parson to seek a special session so lawmakers could pass legislation allowing municipalities to enact their own gun regulations. That's unlikely, given that a state law bars cities from passing local gun control laws.

They also called for an emergency meeting between local elected officials and community leaders before the Legislature meets in September to consider overriding Parson’s vetoes of bills that state lawmakers passed in the regular session.

Attendees at Friday's "People's Ribbon Cutting" celebrate near the Gateway Arch grounds in St. Louis.
Wiley Price I St. Louis American

Darryl Gray made something abundantly clear at Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Arch grounds: The diverse gathering of elected officials, candidates and St. Louisans wasn’t a do-over.

After a group of white officials cut the ribbon in front of the Arch’s new visitors’ center and museum sparked public outcry Tuesday, Gray emphasized that Friday’s event was aimed at showcasing St. Louis’ diversity — and sending a message that racial and ethnic minorities need a place at the decision-making table.

LaShell Eikerenkoetter and Rev. Darryl Gray have each been arrested during the Stockley protests.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Rev. Darryl Gray marched alongside iconic civil rights figures, including Ralph Abernathy, who succeeded Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.