JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — Missouri’s governor said Wednesday in Jefferson City that a September special session is “not the correct avenue” to address the issue of gun violence, and that it should be addressed when lawmakers return to Jefferson City in January.
Governor Mike Parson (R) spoke to Capitol reporters during a Statehouse press conference on the issue of state government reorganization. Most of the questions from reporters were about deadly gun violence.
Parson says it will take a coordinated effort among federal, state and community officials to reduce violence.
“If you want to bring the gun violence (topic) into special session, I’m not for sure what the outcome you think going to be out of that,” Parson says. “That’s why I think that needs to be done in regular session (in January). Special session, you want to do something in a limited time that you think you can get a fix to.”
13 children have been killed in shootings in St. Louis city in 2019.
The “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” reports St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson is urging state lawmakers to let the city require concealed weapon permits. The governor tells reporters “that’s going to have to go through the legislative branch.”
Governor Parson says he’s spoken to both Mayor Krewson and to Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas about gun violence.
“We got to figure out some solutions to these kids getting shot in the streets up there in St. Louis and Kansas City or wherever it is in the state of Missouri,” says Parson.
The governor is against a September special session on gun violence, saying there are “many different opinions on how to find a solution.”
Parson outlines a few possible solutions.
“I think you can partner up with the federal government, the city (St. Louis) and the county can do some things,” Parson says. “I think on the state level, there’s things we can do, maybe put the (Missouri State) Highway Patrol, put them back in there on the ground. That’s things we can do right away.”
Parson also supports working with churches, to help prevent violence.
The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus has asked the governor to add the issue of gun control during the special session. The Black Caucus supports legislation allowing cities with high gun violence to approve their own gun control legislation.
State Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove (D-Kansas City), the Black Caucus’ vice chair, says Kansas City and St. Louis “have shamefully and consistently” ranked in the top ten deadliest cities for at least a decade.
Bland Manlove describes the gun violence as a public health crisis.
Governor Parson has called a special session involving a complicated Missouri Supreme Court ruling about vehicle sales. Lawmakers will return to Jefferson City on September 9 for the special session, which is expected to last one week.
Parson spokeswoman Kelli Jones tells Missourinet she believes the vehicle tax issue will be the only agenda item at special session.