FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
St. Louis, MO – Wednesday, January 30, 2014 – Gun buyback programs are currently illegal in the City of St. Louis under legislation enacted by the State of Missouri in 2013, but the practice may soon become legal with the passage of Resolution 206 being introduced this Friday by President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed.
The Missouri statute RS Mo. 571.067 relating to gun buybacks, revised last year, now requires a county or municipality to pass specific legislation enabling gun buyback programs with stipulations as to how guns are disposed. Specifically, guns must be sold or traded to licensed arms dealers wherever possible and destroyed only as a last resort.
President Reed believes that all options for reducing gun violence and homicides in the City of St. Louis should be on the table.
The City of St. Louis is caught in a vicious cycle of poverty and violence that tears apart lives on an alarmingly frequent basis. Guns play an out-sized role. Yet there is an unfortunate disconnect between needs of city residents, in both St. Louis and Kansas City, on the one hand and priorities of out-state legislators in Jefferson City on the other. We must look out for the well-being of our children before the livelihoods of gun dealers.
The City of St. Louis held its first gun buyback in 1991 following the tragic death of nine year old Christopher Harris, an innocent victim who was used as a human shield trapped between a drug deal gone awry. The buyback resulted in the removal of nearly 7,500 weapons. Following the event, a bronze cast statue was erected in Christopher’s honor just outside SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center on South Grand Boulevard.