Missouri lawmakers vow to go after carjackers, but not guns

2 months 3 days 8 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
JEFFERSON CITY - Bobby Bostic wasn't supposed to see freedom after his prison conviction at age 16 - his sentence... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 2:31:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The man accused of opening fire inside of Walmart on West Broadway on Friday night threatened to kill... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 2:19:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire outside of a Kansas City nightclub, killing a woman and... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 1:10:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
ROCHEPORT - Twenty vehicles crashed on Monday at the I-70 Missouri River Bridge near Rocheport. The Missouri State Highway... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:45:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
(RENTON, Wash.) - The Boeing 737 Max is officially on hold. The assembly line in Renton, Washington, has stopped... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 9:39:00 AM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Pinnacle Hospital employees have the opportunity to find a new job at the job fair hosted by... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:38:00 AM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri School of Journalism Professor Emeritus Rod Gelatt died Sunday January 19, at his home in Arizona. He... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 6:14:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Kansas City Chiefs' AFC Championship victory brought celebration and excitement to fans in Columbia yesterday. Teller's Gallery... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:59:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
ROCHEPORT — As of 3:45 p.m., the westbound lane of I-70 at the Missouri River bridge is now open, according... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:29:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - Deputies with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department rescued a female driver from her car stuck in a... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:08:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The snow and bitter cold did not stop the NAACP's Columbia chapter from remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 12:15:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - Police say an armed security guard may have shot and killed a man suspected of fatally shooting... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 8:46:00 AM CST January 20, 2020 in News
FULTON - Maurice Alfred, 33, was arrested by the Fulton Police Department on Sunday and charged with burglary, domestic assault,... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 8:13:00 AM CST January 20, 2020 in News
HOLDEN— Law enforcement officers in Holden, Missouri have taken a man into custody after a homicide Saturday, according to a... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 5:59:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After hosting several events Monday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 4:02:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Local Kansas City Chiefs fans are spending their day watching the game with family and friends to see... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:57:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Capitol Kids, a multipurpose gym, reopened its doors on Sunday, nearly 8 months after a tornado... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS- One Kansas City Chiefs fan saved the day by driving wide receiver Tyreek Hill's grandparents to the AFC... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
7pm 33°
8pm 33°
9pm 34°
10pm 34°