KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Gun-related violence has many across the nation calling for change – including Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James and Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte.
Now, James is calling for a very specific type of weapon to be pulled off the street.
James and Forte attended a “Gun Summit” with other mayors and police officials from across the nation in Minneapolis, Minn., on Thursday, and now they say that there could be some big changes coming soon to the streets of Kansas City.
“We are talking about criminals using illegal guns to commit violence on people,” said James. “When you are talking about weapons of war, where people are using weapons that were made strictly to kill people and kill them fast and furiously, those dont have any place on the streets of Kansas City.”
James says that he isn’t targeting rifles, shotguns and handguns used for recreation or for personal safety, but instead a specific type of weapon.
“What we do not want is semi-automatic, 30 magazine loaded assault weapons in cars of 18-year-olds riding around the City of Kansas City, Missouri,” said James. He says that scenario, combined with the violence the city has seen just 10 days into the New Year, reassured him that he was in the right place on Thursday.
The conference of mayors and police chiefs from across the U.S. didn’t provide any magic answers, but James says that it was a good opportunity to share information. One thing that all the attendees agreed upon was that the focus on gun violence should be daily – not just after a high-profile crime.
“Nothing minimizes the things like Newtown or Arizona or Colorado, nothing minimizes those things at all, but the reality is that there’s so much violence that takes place everyday that it’s almost like we are growing immune or desensitized to it,” said James.
The Mayor says that he and Forte returned to Kansas City with plenty of ideas and plans to tweak on-going programs, and the details of those ideas will be coming soon after he and Forte have a chance to discuss what they learned with other city leaders and City Hall staffers.