I would like it to be harder for a criminal in the City of St. Louis to get his hands on a gun. And I would like it to be easier for police officers, prosecutors, and judges to get gun criminals off our streets. It is far too easy for criminals to get guns here ' and there are too many of them in our neighborhoods(both guns and criminals).
We have people who have no regard for the sanctity of human life who are armed to the teeth. They shoot at each other and sometimes miss, hitting innocent people. Just Thursday night, a 4-year-old girl was the unintended victim of some idiot shooting into a group of people. The little girl was hit in the shoulder. She is now literally scarred by gun violence.
This has got to stop. That's why I stood today with members of the St. Louis chapter of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America.
I strongly support changes to state law to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on guns and easier for prosecutors to put gun criminals in jail.
More than 6 million guns are transferred in the United States every year with zero background check for the buyer. The sales happen at gun shows and over the internet, creating a loophole that allows felons, domestic abusers and the seriously mentally ill to avoid a background check by simply avoiding licensed dealers. There should be background checks required for all gun sales.
Background checks have nothing to do with taking away LEGAL guns. Our Second Amendment right must go hand in hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people.
Yes, I know that criminals will still have guns. That's why Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Police Chief Sam Dotson, and UM-St. Louis' Department of Criminology are proposing a special docket in the St. Louis circuit courts exclusively for "armed offenders" ' to do swifter and surer justice in criminal gun cases. It will take a change in state law, which would only affect the City of St. Louis.
Neither of these proposals is particularly controversial, though both have vocal opponents. Polls suggest widespread support for background checks. And the usual retort of "enforce the laws you have" is certainly answered by the creation of special gun docket.
So, is this a modest enough to get done right now? If not, I met some very angry moms this afternoon who want to know why.