St. Louis bill proposes permit requirement for people openly carrying guns in the city

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 5:57 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A new bill proposed by a St. Louis alderwoman could create limitations for those who openly carry guns within the city.

“We have got to make our city, our communities, our downtown a safer place to be,” said Alderwoman Cara Spencer, serving the 8th ward. “Those really long guns, those big guns that you’re seeing everywhere in the city of St. Louis right now.”

Spencer, who authored Board Bill 29, says the rule would require people in the city to possess a concealed carry permit to openly carry a gun on the streets.

She notes that this does not go against the state’s Second Amendment Preservation Act, which allows people to own a gun without a permit. Missouri’s revised statutes on firearms do allow political subdivisions to regulate the “open carrying” of firearms readily capable of lethal use.

“This is really just a tool to communicate to people this is not okay, and we can and will take your firearm if you’re going to openly display it and carry it in an aggressive manner in the streets of St. Louis,” said Spencer.

It is a rule she believes will help police officers in the city who have dealt with numerous instances of people carrying guns out in the open in the Downtown area.

“It seems to me like there could be some different ways to handle things in the city as opposed to out in rural Missouri where people are hunting and using guns for sport. It’s a different scenario,” said Joe Steiger.

Steiger is the business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers Association. He says officers are supportive of the bill.

“My understanding of the bill is that it stays in line with statutes,” he said, “and it gives the police the ability to approach people that are underage carrying guns.”

Steiger adds that right now police cannot really approach an individual carrying a gun, even if they are a minor, because of the state’s relaxed rules.

“If you have some sort of ordinance, it would give the officers the ability to approach them, and we’re talking about an ordinance, so they would write a ticket or something to that. They can secure the gun,” said Steiger.

Only people 19 and older can register for a concealed carry permit.

The bill is set for a first reading Friday. Spencer notes that if the ordinance passes, fines and jail time could be issued if police find people in violation of it.