Mayor James, Local Law Enforcement and Community Stakeholders Urge Missouri General Assembly to Protect Public Safety and Sustain Veto on Senate Bill 656

September 13, 2016 - KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Joni Wickham: 816-513-6582 or cell: 816-572-2152

Mayor James brought together a wide range of stakeholders today to highlight the dangerous provisions included in Senate Bill 656, which Governor Nixon vetoed and the General Assembly is poised to override during tomorrow’s Veto Session. Stakeholders standing with the Mayor as he urged the General Assembly to sustain the veto included City Council members, Kansas City Deputy Police Chief Cheryl Rose, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp, Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr., Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, Kyle Boyer, President of Alpha Protection, LLC, and representatives of the Citizens Task Force on Violence and Mothers in Charge.

“We have to take a long, hard look at what is happening in our own cities and cities across America,” said Mayor Sly James. “We cannot protect women and children from their abusers if we are making it easier for those abusers to carry a concealed weapon. We cannot continue to put the lives of our law enforcement partners in danger as they seek to serve and protect our community. And we absolutely cannot sit back and watch as lawmakers make it easier for criminals to commit slow motion mass murder in our neighborhoods and our schools. I urge legislators to use common sense on this issue and in doing so, help protect the lives of countless Missourians.”

Senate Bill 656 eliminates the need to secure a permit in order to carry a concealed firearm. As a result, Sheriffs across Missouri will no longer be able to deny permits that could stop potentially violent people from concealing a weapon. In a news article from MissouriNet, over 1,700 people were denied conceal and carry permits last year. The override of SB 656 will allow for these individuals to obtain a permit. Additionally, this bill eliminates local sheriffs’ ability to keep domestic violence offenders from legally carrying a concealed weapon.

The full text of Senate Bill 656 can be found here:

“Police are very concerned that if this law goes into effect, it will make it easier for many more people to perpetrate gun violence, which is a considerable problem in Kansas City,” said Deputy Chief Cheryl Rose, serving as Acting Chief on behalf of Chief Forte at today’s press conference. “It also could make it extremely difficult for law enforcement to get guns out of the hands of people who would use them to commit violent acts. We join law enforcement across Missouri in urging the Legislature to uphold the veto of Senate Bill 656.”

“The public should understand that Jackson County has declined over 900 requests for a conceal and carry permit since the existing law has been in effect,” said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp. “We need to continue to take guns out of the hands of people who are going to be harmful to our community. If overridden, SB 656 would give those rejected 900 people the ability to own a gun.”

“SB 656 is a anti-safety bill. It will set Missourians up to fail, simply because they will not know the use of force laws,” said Kyle Boyer, President of Alpha Protection, LLC. “Concealed Carry classes allow instructors an opportunity to educate their students on being responsible and safe with their firearms.

“I support Governor Nixon’s veto of SB 656. The safeguards that exist today in Missouri’s concealed carry system are critical to keeping all of us safe,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr.

“Today, I’d ask every member of the Missouri legislator to walk in the shoes of a Kansas Citian impacted by violent crime,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. “Only then could they see the harm they’ve created with this kind of legislation. SB 656 will bring more harm to this community. Voting to override is asking this community, already overburdened with gun violence, to shoulder even more. That’s too great a burden.”


Contact: Michael Grimaldi: 816-513-6579 or cell: 816-945-2902