Leftist politicians everywhere would prefer to blame the implement rather than the criminal who used it. Such is the case in St. Louis, Missouri where Mayor Tishaura Jones (D-St. Louis) is proposing a multitude of new firearms ordinances.
From her press release issued yesterday:
- Prohibit military-grade weapons on our streets
- Prevent 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
She goes on to say:
“In the coming days, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, aldermen are ready to introduce commonsense gun safety legislation,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “We come together around a shared vision: a safer, stronger St. Louis, ready to stand up for our values. We know Missourians are demanding state-level action to pass measures like red-flag laws and background checks, but we are ready to try every tool available to us at the local level to protect families from gun violence.”
As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes on her press conference, she includes AR-15s and AK-47s in the list of firearms subject to prohibition. Mayor Jones also expects blowback from Republican legislators.
Other than the obvious constitutionality issues with Mayor Jones’ moves at gun control, there is an even bigger obstacle at the state level. Missouri has state preemption on all issues regarding firearms with the exceptions of banning open carry to those without a carry permit and regulating discharge within municipal boundaries.
Missouri General Statute 21.750 states, in part:
*21.750. Firearms legislation preemption by general assembly, exceptions — limitation on civil recovery against firearms or ammunitions manufacturers, when, exception. — 1. The general assembly hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation touching in any way firearms, components, ammunition and supplies to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance or regulation by any political subdivision of this state. Any existing or future orders, ordinances or regulations in this field are hereby and shall be null and void except as provided in subsection 3 of this section.
2. No county, city, town, village, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state shall adopt any order, ordinance or regulation concerning in any way the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, keeping, possession, bearing, transportation, licensing, permit, registration, taxation other than sales and compensating use taxes or other controls on firearms, components, ammunition, and supplies except as provided in subsection 3 of this section.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey reacted swiftly to Mayor Jones’ attention-grabbing pronouncements. He reminded her that Missouri has strict scrutiny with regard to firearms laws and that her proposed ordinances were against Missouri general statutes.
When speaking of St. Louis, it should be noted that the city and the county are not one and the same. St. Louis County has a population of just less than one million people. The City of St. Louis, by contrast, has a population of 296,000. What locals refer to as North County, West County, and South County compromise a much larger proportion of the population than the City.
Does the City of St. Louis have issues with crime? Absolutely. Are the guns recovered by police at the scene of crimes AR-15s or AK-47s? Not really. 90% of all firearms recovered are handguns.
The meme below does give an indication of the level of crime in St. Louis. Perhaps if Mayor Jones focused more on criminals and gangs she would have more success than focusing on firearms.