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New Senate committee to tackle gun violence, public safety


ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A new interim committee has been formed to tackle gun violence and public safety with tentative plans to meet for the first time early next week. 

The Interim Committee on Public Safety is chaired by Republican Sen. Doug Libla with Sen. Jeanie Riddle serving as vice chairwoman. Republicans Eric Burlison and Tony Luetkemeyer also sit on the committee, along with Democratic Sens. Jamilah Nasheed, Kiki Curls, and Brian Williams. 

Nasheed had heavily pushed for the formation of the interim committee as Missouri, especially her home of St. Louis, has been racked with gun violence this year. In a letter to Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz in August, Nasheed called the violence a “public health crisis” and requested an interim committee to “gather, study, and evaluate … different options” to present to the legislature in January. 

“I think this is where the rubber meets the road. I’m hoping we are able to come out of this committee with ideas and concepts and laws that are going to change the trajectory of violence and crimes in our neighborhood,” Nasheed told The Missouri Times. “I believe we are really going to get something done next session when it comes to trying to reduce gun violence in the urban corridors and across the state.” 

Nasheed praised Schatz for the formation of the committee, saying he “sincerely wants to help reduce violence in our urban corridors.” A host of “good people” are slated to testify before the committee, Nasheed said.