ST. LOUIS – On Friday, Alderwoman Cara Spencer (20th Ward) will introduce legislation banning guns from parks in St. Louis City.
“Our parks should be safe zones,” Spencer said. “There should never be a reason to have a gun in a park.”
Some critics feel the bill would be unconstitutional and question what difference a gun ban in parks would make.
“Even if you make this law, people will still have their weapon,” said one visitor to Fox Park. “Even if it’s in-vehicle reach, it’s still going to be there.”
Spencer said a recent incident at Fox Park is an example for why action is needed. A recreation soccer league involving 4 and 5-year-olds was in jeopardy after two individuals were spotted with assault-style weapons.
City leaders promised to act to make sure kids are safe. Missouri does not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
“Even if the police had been able to respond while the person was still there, they wouldn’t be able to do anything,” Spencer said.
The alderwoman said a city park gun ban would give police a tool to help keep parks safe for kids.
Some city leaders have already been working to convince state lawmakers that gun laws in the city of St. Louis need to be stricter than in other parts of the state.
“The underlying environment here is very different than it is in the rest of Missouri and we really should be able to recognize that and deal with it differently than you might deal with it in a very small town or outstate Missouri, where guns are typically used for hunting,” she said.