Efforts to tighten gun laws in the city of St. Louis are officially underway at the Board of Aldermen.
Alderwomen Daniela Velazquez of the 6th Ward and Alisha Sonnier of the 7th Ward and Alderman Tom Oldenburg of the 2nd Ward will be in charge of maneuvering the bills through the legislative process.
Oldenburg is sponsoring legislation that bans the sale or possession of machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, silencers and certain kinds of ammunition.
Sonnier’s bill would prevent people under the age of 18 from facing jail time for violating any of the city’s existing gun ordinances. Fines and fees collected for gun ordinance violations would be directed in large part to the Office of Violence Prevention.
The three bills are priorities of Mayor Tishaura Jones. She announced the policies in August after a round-table with survivors of gun violence.
“The state legislature has us fighting crime with our hands tied behind our back, so with the one hand free that we do have, we’re going to fight like hell,” she said.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has already promised a legal challenge to the bills, but Jones said she believes the city has threaded the legal needle.
“We have an excellent policy department in the mayor’s office that has been looking feverishly at all of our gun laws and finding where the loopholes are,” she said.
The mayor recently signed a measure from Alderwoman Cara Spencer of the 8th Ward that prohibits people from openly carrying guns unless they have a concealed carry permit, with some exceptions.