Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, Police Chief Darryl Forté and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker on Tuesday formally called on Gov. Jay Nixon to veto a wide-ranging gun bill that would eliminate the need for a permit to carry a concealed firearm and establish a “stand your ground” law.
Missouri lawmakers approved the bill on the final day of the 2016 legislative session. Nixon, a Democrat, has until mid-July to decide whether to veto the legislation.
In a letter sent to Nixon on Tuesday, James, Forte and Baker say the legislation would “undoubtedly put our citizens in danger and invite more gun violence onto our streets.”
The letter notes that Kansas City has consistently been ranked as one of the top 10 most violent cities in the country, averaging 106 homicides per year. This year, there have been 44 homicides, compared to 34 at this point last year.
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By allowing someone to carry a concealed firearm with no required training, “more guns will flood our streets and there will be no way for our law enforcement to know who is carrying these dangerous weapons in our community.”
Untrained users of guns, combined with a “stand your ground” law that allows people to use deadly force if they feel threatened without a duty to retreat, will “only harm our city,” the letter said.
In addition to the permitless carry and “stand your ground” provisions, the bill lowers the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon where it is not allowed; expands the castle doctrine to permit invited guests in a home to use deadly force on intruders; and for those who still want to get a concealed carry permit, creates a lifetime version that never expires.
The bill in question is Senate Bill 656.
See the letter to Nixon below.