Mayor Jones says she’s ‘ready to fight’ for gun control; state officials say not so fast

Jones announced she seeks to ban firearms such AK-47′s & AR-15′s; AG Andrew Bailey says she doesn’t have the authority
Jones announced she seeks to ban firearms such AK-47′s & AR-15′s; AG Andrew Bailey says she doesn’t have the authority
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Mayor Tishaura Jones announced a series of gun control measures that she hopes will help prevent gun violence in the region and said she’s prepared for state officials in Jefferson City to push back.

The proposals, which she said would come from bills in the Board of Aldermen, would ban military-style weapons, such as AR-15′s and AK-47′s, as well as prevent youth from obtaining firearms and banning ghost guns.

“We’re ready to fight like hell at the local level to prevent gun violence, protect our babies and keep our community safe,” said Mayor Jones.

She said the city has been able to find loopholes in state law to pass an ambitious set of gun laws.

“So the legislation that the aldermen will be filing in the coming days are things that are not currently covered in the state legislature,” said Jones.

But Republicans said that she has no authority to do so.

“It’s null and void. They don’t have the right to do that. State laws specifically says they have no right to do that,” said St. Rep. Jim Murphy (R) of South County.

Murphy pointed to current state law that essentially bans the cities, any municipality, from passing any type of gun control.

“The attorney general would be on that in 13 seconds,” said Murphy.

Attorney General Andrew Bailey also chimed in to say he’ll fight back.

“Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny, and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement,” said Bailey in a letter to Mayor Jones.

Peter Joy, a Washington University law professor, said a citizen could also potentially sue in federal court.

Mayor Jones knows the roadblocks and says she’s pressing on.

“Does that mean that they won’t try to pass things later on, absolutely, or sue us, absolutely, but again, the state legislature has us fighting crime with our hands tied behind our backs,” said Jones.

People First Alert 4 spoke to in the area have mixed opinions.

“I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t intend to own one,” said Jonathan Harms.

“I think any one thing is going to be a band-aid. We have a really big problem,” said Robert Longyear.

There are also ongoing efforts from St. Louis County Chair to pass gun reform in the county, that legislation could be introduced as soon as next week.

Also, a gun control ballot initiative could be heading to ballots statewide in November of 2024.

Mayor Jones also said she wants to prepare the city to enforce a law that bans shooting random gunfire into the air, and to prevent insurrectionists and those convicted of hate crimes from owning guns.