JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Mayors Sly James of Kansas City and Francis Slay came together to speak against the Second Amendment Preservation Act, a bill likely to pass the Missouri legislature that nullifies some federal gun regulations and criminalizes enforcement of them.
Mayor James called the act “absurd” in relation to the crime problems facing St. Louis and Kansas City.
“I hope the General Assembly votes down this bill and focuses on things that may actually do some good – like expanding Medicaid and early education opportunities for all children.”
“Reducing crime, especially violent crime, is vitally important to the health and the future of our City,” Slay said. “I stand with the police; not criminals, drug dealers, felons and other miscreants.”
Last year, a similar bill was vetoed by Nixon and failed on an override vote when two members of Senate leadership, Senators Tom Dempsey and Ron Richard, announced they were voting against the bill. Attorney General Chris Koster, at the request of lawmakers, issued a legal opinion on the bill effectively calling it unconstitutional. Republicans called the opinion partisan, but Sen. Will Kraus, a Republican, has once-again requested input from Koster, telling The Missouri Times last week that he’s looking for affirmation from Koster that the problematic section’s of last year’s bill have been fixed.
“I just want to make sure Missouri citizens’ rights are protected,” said bill sponsor Rep. Douglas Funderburk, R-St. Peters.
Rep. Lant has sponsored several bills regarding firearms in the past four years and responded to the Mayors’ statements for The Missouri Times.
“I appreciate and understand that the Mayors would have a different opinion than police officers and our counties in the southwest. Unfortunately, we believe the bill is necessary and on the advice of law enforcement and people in my area, we have to move forward with the bill,” Lant said.
“Mayor Slay and I swore a solemn oath to support and uphold the U.S. Constitution and to faithfully discharge the duties of our offices,” said Mayor James. “We may be fighting a losing battle. But, we intend to do everything we can to uphold our oaths.”
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.