ST. LOUIS, Mo (KMOV.com) – St. Louis officials say they are advocating more aggressive strategies for getting illegal guns off the streets of St. Louis.
“This is an emergency for our city,” said St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. “We need to solve this problem of gun violence.”
Joyce says she wants harder sentences for what are now considered low-level gun crimes, like possession of an illegal gun and she says she and her staff are working on an aggressive new strategy to start prosecuting conspiracy level gun cases.
“If you have two different groups of people on opposite sides of the street shooting at each other and someone gets shot, we have a difficult time with those cases because someone might argue self-defense,” Joyce said. “[But] if you can prosecute it as a conspiracy, you get to prosecute everyone involved in the gun battle. You get the whole crew off the street.”
She also says she wants to target younger people who are first-time offenders who might be simply heading down the wrong path and offer programs to redirect them to the right direction.