Missouri must make a concerted effort to address the causes of gun violence while respecting citizens' Second Amendment rights, four mayors and Gov. Mike Parson said Friday.
Mayors Brian Treece of Columbia, Ken McClure of Springfield, Lyda Krewson of St. Louis and Quinton Lucas of Kansas City held a closed-door meeting with Parson on Friday morning and outlined a series of steps the state could take in cooperation with local and federal officials to stem the rising tide of deaths due to gun violence, a news release issued after the meeting said.
Priority actions the group identified are:
- To share information, develop strategies and advocate with a common voice.
- To enhance the state's witness protection program.
- To seek more money for community mental health and substance abuse programs for victims and offenders.
- To devise strategies for getting violent offenders through the justice system and off the streets quickly.
- To clarify statutes aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of children, other than for hunting purposes and violent offenders.
The Friday morning meeting came a day after Treece met with Parson in his office at the Daniel Boone City Building to talk not only about gun violence but also about economic development initiatives.
Treece said in the Friday news release that the mayors are committed to keeping their respective communities safe.
"While the challenges facing our communities may be different based on where we live, we know there are comprehensive solutions to deal with violent crime," Treece said.
McClure hosted the meeting, which was a follow-up to a similar conversation in September, and said in the news release that the group is "pleased to be able to move forward with an initial action plan."
Krewson called the collaboration "very productive and historic."