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City leaders worry SB 656 will make cities less safe


In the aftermath of the legislature’s override of SB 656 – the omnibus gun bill – last week, urban leaders who campaigned heavily against the bill have reacted with disappointment and fear for the future of their cities.

From mayors to mayoral candidates, there was a sense that the legislation would make cities less safe for citizens and law enforcement.

“I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that the legislature voted to override the veto on SB 656,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. “This is a step in the wrong direction and will only make it more difficult to cut down on violent crime in our city. I’m tremendously grateful to the law enforcement community and other stakeholders who joined our efforts to fight this bill. We may have lost this round but the safety of our families is worth the fight.”

Across the state, in St. Louis, mayoral candidate Alderwoman Lyda Krewson denounced the legislation saying the bill would put police and residents at risk.

Krewson visits at veto session
Krewson visits at veto session

“In St. Louis City, we have a crime problem and too many people have easy access to guns. More guns on our streets and less training is a very dangerous combination,” she said. “This legislation puts our police officers and city residents at great risk.”

Krewson was present at the Capitol on Wednesday hoping to garner opposition against the bill.

On Twitter, Mayor Francis Slay questioned why Missouri chose not to regulate guns when it regulates so much else.

In cities where the homicide rates have been climbing, city leaders worry that the gun bill will exacerbate the problem. But the legislation’s supporters have argued the opposite. They think easier ability to carry a weapon will keep more citizens safer.