Missouri State Sen. Steven Roberts, the Senate minority whip, has introduced legislation requiring that anyone carrying a firearm in the city must have a concealed carry permit despite the state’s 2017 passage of “constitutional carry.”
Senate Bill 1016 “would only apply to St. Louis City gun owners,” according to KMOV news. The story referred to the unsolved March 2020 murder of Cara Davenport, apparently caught in the middle of a gunfight. Her mother, Sharon Webb-Steele, has become a gun control advocate, who reportedly believes that “having stricter gun laws in the City of St. Louis that makes it harder for people to get guns in the first place could be beneficial.”
Roberts’ 10-page gun control legislation might be seen as some to either get around or challenge Missouri’s preemption statute. Section 2 of the law, however, says this:
(2) In any jurisdiction in which the open carrying of firearms is prohibited by ordinance, the open carrying of firearms shall not be prohibited in accordance with the following:
(a) Any person with a valid concealed carry endorsement or permit who is open carrying a firearm shall be required to have a valid concealed carry endorsement or permit from this state, or a permit from another state that is recognized by this state, in his or her possession at all times;
(b) Any person open carrying a firearm in such jurisdiction shall display his or her concealed carry endorsement or permit upon demand of a law enforcement officer;
(c) In the absence of any reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity, no person carrying a concealed or unconcealed firearm shall be disarmed or physically restrained by a law enforcement officer unless under arrest; and
(d) Any person who violates this subdivision shall be subject to the penalty provided in section 571.121.
According to KMOV, Sen. Roberts “wants to move away from” the state’s constitutional carry law.
The story quoted Aaron Dorr with the Missouri Firearms Coalition. He views Roberts’ proposal as a move away from the Second Amendment, and he contends that’s not the way to solve crime.
But if the state constitutional carry and preemption laws can be changed to accommodate St. Louis, there may be nothing to prevent other Missouri municipalities from going after the same kind of exemption to set their own gun laws. It could be viewed as a piecemeal approach to getting rid of preemption and permitless carry.