A recent decision by the US Supreme Court invalidating a handgun ban in Washington, D.C., and upholding an individual’s right to bear arms will have no effect in Missouri, where the state constitution keeps cities like Clayton, U City, or ours from enacting laws aimed at reducing the number of handguns in our communities.
Most of the Missouri candidates for elective offices running in the August primary were quick to issue statements praising the Supreme Court’s decision, signaling that the differences between Jay Nixon and Kenny Hulshof or between Sam Page and Peter Kinder will not be on this particular topic.
Perhaps, I can help them find some differences.
I recently joined a group of elected officials in supporting national implementation of a microstamping technology that transfers a gun’s unique identification onto its cartridges. When cartridges from such guns are recovered at crime scenes, they can be more easily traced back to the handgun that fired them, through its life, and - sometimes - to the person who fired them. And microstamped guns can be easier to trace back to their manufacturers, making it easier for authorities to fight illegal gun trafficking. Along with the mayors most of the country’s big cities, I cast my vote in favor of a resolution at the US Conference of Mayors that would require all new semi-automatic firearms manufactured or sold in the US after January 1, 2010, to be microstamp-enabled.
Firearm violence is a serious problem in Missouri. Is support of microstamping going to be a point of difference among the candidates for the state’s highest offices?