New Missouri gun law worries Chief Dotson - KMOV.com

New Missouri gun law worries Chief Dotson

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St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the conceal carry law could make the city more dangerous (Credit: KMOV) St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the conceal carry law could make the city more dangerous (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

St. Louis City Police Chief Sam Dotson describes the new 2017 Missouri gun law as thoughtless and loose.

Starting January 1, 2017, Missouri residents will be able to carry a gun without a permit or training, and that’s leaving Chief Dotson worried .

“I don’t think it reduces violence, it add to the violence,” said Dotson. “I'm worried, I think the laws that were passed in Jefferson City that the governor vetoed and the legislature ultimately overrode leave our state less safe, leaves our city less safe.”

Dotson said he knows first-hand the violence blanketing St. Louis. He told News 4 he sees what happens when guns end up in the wrong hands - murders and senseless violence.

“I think what this’ll do is introduce guns in situations that guns may not have been introduced in,” said Dotson.

Not only does Dotson think this could add to the high gun crime numbers the city is already seeing, but he said it will change the mindset of how his officers respond.

“So now every officer that does every car stop, that stops any pedestrian has to assume that that person is armed, has to assume that person has no level of training, has to assume that there’s a gun involved,” said Dotson. “It makes the officers’ jobs much more difficult. It puts them on edge because we’re fearful of what we don’t know. “

There are firm feelings on both sides of the gun law. Supporters said this new measure is their constitutional right and it will make them feel safe.

“I think if we want to start feeling safer what we need to do is start addressing the criminals who are using the guns and not introducing more guns,” said Dotson.

Dotson said his biggest fear is criminals – not convicted of a felony – will be legally carry guns.

The new Missouri law also cover the stand your “Stand Your Ground” law.

“What’s interesting is that we spend a lot of time in law enforcement talking about how to deescalate a situation, this law takes out that requirement that you had to retreat or pull back. Now you don’t have an obligation to deescalate, you can just stand there, stick out your chest and whoever is the bigger man and fires first, that could actually be a defense in the court of law,” said Dotson. 

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