Missouri leaders want to keep minors, abusers from guns

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Mike Parson met with the mayors and police chiefs from the four largest cities in the state Monday to discuss tackling violent crime with three new initiatives.

“All these mayors are working together trying to figure out a solution to the crime rate in our state,” Parson said.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Police Chief John Hayden visited the governor’s office at the capitol to talk about crime. They were joined by similar leaders from Springfield, Kansas City, and Columbia for a half-hour meeting behind closed doors.

Here’s how they plan to tackle violent crime. First, they want new gun laws passed to keep weapons out of the hands of juveniles; second, more money for community mental health patients who don’t necessarily need an emergency room or jail; and third, money for witness protection.

“Put access to funding in the hands of law enforcement in order to be able to make sure we have witness protection so that we can solve more crimes, protect more people, get more convictions,” Mayor Krewson said.

The three goals will need the approval of the legislature next year but the governor and mayors seemed optimistic they will pass. Earlier this fall, the governor sent St. Louis City 25 state troopers to help crack down on crime. The mayor says in about a month there have been 28 arrests and 300 warrants served. Mayor Krewson called that successful.

Everyone agrees the three goals they established today are short term, the governor says the state has much more work to do when it comes to poverty, creating better-paying jobs and education, which he believes will all work together to cut down on crime.

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