Missouri lawmakers vow to go after carjackers, but not guns

2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago Tuesday, November 19 2019 Nov 19, 2019 Tuesday, November 19, 2019 1:25:55 PM CST November 19, 2019 in News
By: Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Republican legislators and Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Tuesday laid out legislative priorities for 2020 aimed at fighting violent urban crime, but they made it clear that those priorities don’t include stricter gun laws.

Legislative leaders said they’ll push for strengthening Missouri’s carjacking statute and removing the requirement that forces St. Louis police officers to live in the city in hopes of boosting officer recruitment and retention.

But many Democrats in the Legislature as well as St. Louis leaders have called for specific measures to address gun violence, such as allowing the city to adopt its own gun laws that are tougher than the state’s, or requiring a permit to carry a gun, at least in the city.

Senate Pro Tem Dave Schatz indicated that new gun restrictions are off the table in the Republican-controlled Legislature that convenes in January.

“When we talk about guns and taking guns out of law-abiding citizens’ hands, that was never a topic of discussion that we were willing to address,” Schatz said.

St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield all have seen spikes in gun crimes and homicides in recent years. More than a dozen children have been killed in gun violence in St. Louis this year.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden spoke at the news conference and expressed support for the carjacking proposal and the end to the police residency requirement. But he also cited a need for a law that would require a gun permit. Missouri law requires no such permit.

“If people were required to have a permit to carry a gun, I wouldn’t see people on East Grand and Broadway talking on a phone with an AK-47,” Hayden said. “A permit is needed.”

St. Louis had more than 350 carjackings in 2018 and is on pace to equal that number this year. Schmitt said the state lacks a specific carjacking statute, so prosecutors charge suspects with various crimes like robbery or stealing. He said he supports creation of a new charge, motor vehicle hijacking, which would directly address the crime.

Hayden said carjackings are traumatizing to victims and create inconvenience, but he said they rarely lead to homicides or shootings.

Democratic Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis questioned why her Republican colleagues are sidestepping the issue of gun violence that has led to all three Missouri cities often being cited as among the most dangerous in the nation.

“We don’t want to infringe on anyone’s Second Amendment rights but what outstate legislators must understand is that while they use guns to hunt animals and deer, we have young black men and women being hunted by guns in the city of St. Louis,” Nasheed said.

For nearly 50 years, St. Louis police officers have been required to live within the city limits. Schmitt said the residency requirement hinders recruitment and retention of officers. The city currently has more than 125 officer vacancies, and the shortage makes crime-fighting more difficult.

“Removing the residency requirement opens the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to a larger and more diverse pool of applicants who don’t necessarily live in the city of St. Louis,” Schmitt said.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY - Three men were charged on Thursday for being involved in a drug-trafficking conspiracy after federal agents seized... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A marijuana advocacy group said people who have legal medical marijuana licenses are still being arrested. In... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:28:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public School nurses could be getting a new medication to add to their medicine cabinets... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:42:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
TIPTON - David Dubois was taken into custody on Monday for stealing. A property owner in Fortuna, Mo. reported... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:31:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The search of the Lamine River for the body of Mengqi Ji Elledge entered its third consecutive... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:49:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Auditor's Office announced today they will deliver to Senate Leadership at least six completed... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:44:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Prosecutor's Office charged a man with sodomy on Thursday after a reported sexual assault at... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 12:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrested two men when they found $1.1 million worth of THC vape... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:47:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House is moving forward to draft articles of impeachment... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:38:29 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's search for a new fire chief is coming to a close. A community relations specialist for... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 1:48:00 AM CST December 05, 2019 in News
HONOLULU (AP) - The military says a U.S. sailor shot and killed two, and wounded one at the Pearl Harbor... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 10:04:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt wrote a letter of support to the Cameron football team after the... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 8:31:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - Neighbors who live near the Lamine River have watched the search for missing Columbia woman, Mengqi Ji... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 7:17:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The victim of an attempted homicide in mid-November died in her home Friday. The Columbia Police Department... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 4:40:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Boone County's sales tax revenue has been steadily decreasing in recent years - and homeowners in the county... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 3:06:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
ELDON - The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, hosted the first of two community meetings on Wednesday to... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 2:30:00 PM CST December 04, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former MU football coach Barry Odom released a statement Wednesday following his termination over the weekend. In... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 10:50:00 AM CST December 04, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- The Missouri Special Olympics will host a meeting on Wednesday in search of volunteers to be part... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, December 04 2019 Dec 4, 2019 Wednesday, December 04, 2019 8:00:00 AM CST December 04, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
7pm 50°
8pm 50°
9pm 49°
10pm 48°