Leaders call on Parson to hold special session on gun violence

Second Amendment

The request follows last weekend’s deadly mass shooting in downtown St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Some St. Louis leaders are asking the Missouri governor to call state lawmakers back to Jefferson City to address gun violence. It comes after last weekend’s mass shooting downtown where young people were seen carrying assault rifles.

A representative from Governor Mike Parsons’ office told 5 On Your Side on Thursday that at this time, a special session is not being called to address any topic. That finds some local lawmakers frustrated.

The images from last weekend’s deadly mass shooting in downtown St. Louis sent shockwaves across the nation.

It left Board of Alderman member Rasheen Aldridge wondering, “What can I do?”

Aldridge recently served as a state representative.

“I filed several pieces of legislation when I was state rep. to try to create a gun registry. In my last few months, proposed legislation for a red flag law,” he said, claiming that some of his counterparts agreed something needs to be done but failed to take action.

“They’re so controlled by lobbyists and so controlled by the NRA and special interest groups that they’re not willing to be themselves but worry about what a scorecard says so they can get an endorsement to run again,” Aldridge said.

Now some city leaders are calling on Parson to convene a special session to have lawmakers come back to the capitol to discuss new gun measures.

Board President Megan Green is one of the city leaders asking the Governor to act. She declined 5 On Your Side’s request for an interview.

Comptroller Darlene Green wrote an email Wednesday to Green that read,  “I want to thank you for being in agreement that perhaps it is time to put forth a resolution that encourages our state legislators to act and pass common-sense gun safety laws that mirror the federal laws. Perhaps putting together an ordinance that gives our city voters an opportunity to add their voices to the chorus of encouraging our state legislators to act and pass common-sense gun safety laws that mirror the federal laws, would further the cause.”

On Thursday, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft spoke on The Record with 5 On Your Side’s Mark Maxwell.

“This is not something where more laws will solve the problem. They were violating laws already,” he said

Ashcroft called the weekend shooting “horrendous” but said more state laws aren’t the answer.

“Should you be able to walk down the streets of St. Louis with an AR 15?” Maxwell asked.

“I don’t see why it’s a problem…The AR 15, the long gun, whatever it is, isn’t the problem. The problem we have is with individuals,” Ashcroft responded, adding that people who commit laws are going to do so regardless of more laws.

“We need support in St. Louis,” Aldridge said. “That support is not a takeover. That support is listening to the people who stay here, the solutions of how do we get to a place where we’re not tackling the 2nd Amendment, but we are putting regulations in place so it’s not easy for people who are mentally ill to get guns, it’s not easy for young people to get guns, it’s not easy for people to walk around with AK 47’s.”

City leaders will soon consider a proposal to ban people from openly displaying a gun in St. Louis without a concealed carry permit. Aldridge questions if it will advance due to potential legal concerns.

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