Mayor Jones announces plans for more gun legislation in St. Louis City

Mayor Tishaura Jones announced on Tuesday new efforts, in collaboration with aldermen, to enact gun safety legislation in the city of St. Louis.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Mayor Tishaura Jones announced on Tuesday new efforts, in collaboration with aldermen, to enact gun safety legislation in the city of St. Louis.

Mayor Jones held a listening session with SLMPD Chief Robert Tracy, Office of Violence Prevention Director Wil Pinkney, as well as Alderwoman Daniela Velazquez (6), Alderwoman Alisha Sonnier (7), Alderwoman Shameem Clark-Hubbard (10), Alderwoman Pam Boyd (13), Alderman Tom Oldenburg (2) to hear personally about gun violence in the community from survivors and advocates.

Following Mayor Jones’ signing of BB29, which prohibits open carry in the city without a concealed carry permit, aldermen are prepared to introduce legislation to:

  • Prohibit military-grade weapons on city streets
  • Prevent the transfer or sale of guns to minors
  • Take action on ghost guns and similar untraceable firearms
  • Prepare St. Louis for the passage of Blair’s Law
  • Prohibit insurrectionists and those convicted of hate crimes from having guns

All of this is part of a loophole that Jones says is not covered in Missouri’s gun laws.

“Does that mean that they won’t try to pass things later on? Absolutely,” Mayor Jones says. “Or sue us? Absolutely. The state legislature has us fighting crime with our hands tied behind our backs so with the one hand free that we do have, we’re gonna fight like hell.”

Erica Jones has focused her life around giving a voice to the voiceless and advocating for those who lost loved ones to gun violence.

“We deal with it every second,” she said. “Not every minute. Not every hour. Every second we deal with this.”

That’s because eight years ago, Erica Jones’ 24-year-old daughter Whitney was shot and killed near Walnut Park on the northside. Since then, she has never stopped looking for the person responsible, and in her view, the city’s gun violence has only become worse.

“Don’t imagine it,” she said. “When people say I can’t imagine it, don’t. Don’t imagine it. Don’t even try to put comprehensive words together to try to understand because you can’t. We feel like our whole world has been snatched.”

Erica Jones is raising the son Whitney left behind and says she is scared for him every day seeing the persistent gun violence issues, not just in the city but the whole region.

“He asks questions,” she said. “He finally stopped asking can I go to the hospital. What do you tell a 13-year-old young man who cannot see his mother? He cannot smell her. He cannot touch her.”

She said it’s not about taking guns away from people but instead being smart and responsible gun owners.

“My daughter was killed with a military-style weapon,” she said. “People of the military know the kind of impact those weapons do.”

First Alert 4 asked Chief Tracy about people who get guns illegally and how this would be enforced in the city. He said SLMPD partners with federal agencies on technology that allows them to trace guns.

Buying a gun for someone else is what Chief Tracy says is called a straw purchase and is something his department is taking seriously with getting guns off of the streets.

Bills are tracked on the City’s website. The Board of Aldermen returns to session on September 15.