St. Louis, Missouri – (STL.News) Lawmakers and community leaders are coming together to combat gun violence in the St. Louis-area. US Congressman Lacy Clay and the St. Louis Aldermanic Black Caucus held a town hall Wednesday night at Harris Stowe State University to address the issue.
It was packed house of about 250 people at the town hall where the theme among the speakers was to push for stricter gun control laws. This was especially apparent with Clay, who promoted his gun control bill, H.R. 3435, the Local Public Health and Safety Protection Act.
“Our nation and this community have reached a tipping point. We are in the midst of an epidemic of gun violence that’s inflicting and devastating carnage on our community because of the culture of easy access to guns.” Clay said.
“If you want to do the right thing about gun control, all you have to do is love your constituents more than you love the NRA’s campaign donations,” Clay added.
Under Clay’s proposed legislation, which he coauthored with Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D) Illinois; States should not prohibit or restrict a local government from:
• Requiring background checks for firearms purchases;
• Restricting the ability to carry a firearm in public places. Restricting the quantity and type of ammunition that an individual is allowed to purchase;
• Requiring gun owners to safely store their firearms, especially in households with children;
• And prohibiting the sale and transfer of certain types of especially deadly firearms and accessories, including semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson expressed her support for Clay’s proposed legislation.
“We don’t have to accept this level of violence. We’ve got to support Congressman Clay’s bill.” Krewson said.
Krewson said she also wants to see city residents be required to have a permit to carry a gun.
St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards also spoke, where he cited statistics. He said there have been 134 murders this year in the city of St. Louis, compared to 119 during this same time last year.
A man had to be removed by security after becoming disruptive during Edwards’ speech.
Speakers also addressed the gun violence which has claimed the lives of more than a dozen children in the St. Louis-area.
Last weekend, St. Louis City leaders announced a $100,000 reward being offered by CrimeStoppers to solve four of those cases. The reward is broken down to $25,000 for each of these cases. The reward money is for information leading to the arrests and convictions of those response for the deaths of 8-year-old Jurnee Thompson, 2-year-old Kayden Johnson, 3-year-old Kennedi Powell, and 10-year-old Eddie Hill. Edwards said since the announcement of the reward money, leads have been pouring in to CrimeStoppers.
Tipsters have until September first to contact CrimeStoppers.