Springfield Mayor Ken McClure met in Jefferson City with Governor Mike Parson and the mayors of St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia regarding violence in their cities.
The meeting resulted in the mayors and the Governor proposing a “three-pronged plan” that would focus on keeping guns away from minors, violent crime offenders, and those who commit domestic violence.
“These are common sense approaches,” Governor Parson said about the plan. “I think they’re doable things to do that we’re asking to do.”
The mayors and Governor said that a state ban on minors possessing handguns would give prosecutors more weapons to use against those who are violating current federal laws on the issue. Columbia’s mayor claimed that prosecutors don’t usually refer minors to federal prosecutors.
The plan also discusses changing plans so that if someone is charged with a felony charge that would ban them from having a firearm, but plead to a lesser charge that is not a felony, they would still lose their rights to a firearm. St. Louis Mayor Quinton Lucas called that a “loophole” in the law.
“If you’re going to be involved with domestic violence and you start involving weapons in it, that needs to be addressed,” Governor Parson said. “I think that’s a reasonable ask of what the mayors are trying to do.”
Another item on the mayor’s plan was a process for witness protection and relocation. Lucas said that his police department comes across many witnesses for crimes who won’t speak to police because they’re afraid of retaliation.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District Tim Garrison has stated that Springfield is one of the top 15 most violent cities in the United States, along with St. Louis and Kansas City.