Mayor and police chief want to tougher gun controls in place

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – KC Mayor Sly James and Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte teamed up on the issue of gun control by releasing a op-ed the two wrote together. Their words lobby for the passage of a bill that would put tougher restrictions on purchasing and owning guns.

The mayor brought up a very high-profile murder case to make his point. Last August, a young mother and daughter were gunned down inside their own home.

"Damiah was three years old when she and her mother were basically gunned down by some idiot in their home this past fall," Mayor James said during his State of the City Address.

Myeisha Turner and Damiah White were two of more than 100 people murdered in Kansas City in 2013. They were in a group of 85% of all homicides where the victims were killed with a handgun.

"Simply put, our crime rate is too high and has been far too long, but we can't just stand around, shrug our shoulders and say, 'Oh well,'" Mayor James said.

The mother and daughter's case was used to highlight the mayor's support of a bill that would require universal background checks before a gun can be purchased, and make the reporting of lost or stolen handguns mandatory.

"Nothing in those proposals limits the rights of reasonable, law-abiding citizens from owning guns, but we just might keep some idiot from getting an illegal gun from gunning down three year olds in their homes," Mayor James said.

Pamela Jones' son Kevin was also murdered in 2013. She said the culprits are the same three people who killed Myeisha and Damiah. Jones said none would legally be able to possess a gun because of their criminal history.

"Let the people who can get them, let them be entitled to get them to protect themselves and their family," Jones said.

But while the mayor and Chief Forte say the bill may have prevented the senseless murder of a three-year-old, among others, Park University criminal justice professor and former Kansas City cop John Hamilton says prevention is the missing piece.

"It wont stop it completely, and again, I think that's what takes it back to my thoughts about expectations. If you expect this to cure the problem, then you've set it up for failure," Hamilton said.

Jones said that the three men responsible for killing her son, Myeisha and Damiah have not been charged with those crimes, but are either in federal or local custody on unrelated charges. As for the bill, it had its second reading in the Missouri House last week.

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  • jeanne

    BS,Gangs and other criminals are really going to abide by these laws ,right ? Law abiding people can’t even.protect themselves . When are people going to wake up to what is really happening here . Cops need to do the jobs they are hired to do . Enforce the laws that are in place . 911 is not going to be there for you when its to late .

      • Wayne

        I agree here, EVERY case ends in a plea deal. Slap everyone on the wrist and let them out. I have a couple members of my distant family that should be in jail but somehow they keep letting them out. I hate to even say they are related but that’s where the big problem is. He needs to stop listening to his buddy Bloomburg and really look at making changes that will actually help the problem.

  • Steve McGinnis

    and people need to start taking responsibility for their own well being. If we spent the time and money used on stupid idea’s like this and educated people and arming them, these gangs and criminals day’s would be numbered. People, wake up and REFUSE to be a victim.

  • Kevin wangler

    Registration is a means to confinscate . In Missouri you already have to have a criminal background check to purchase a firearm . Laws like this do nothing to protect the public as 99% of guns used in crime are stolen or posessed illegal . Criminals do not obey laws . People who are progressive like you mr. mayor are stupid to believe otherwise ,likely you don`t you just want control over law abiding citizens .

  • Sandy Berry Schunk

    We already have a background check. Why do we need another law about having a background check when we already have one, -because there are other little secret laws attached to this one they don’t want you to know about. Criminals will not get their guns legally. Mayor you are totally missiing the point -again.

  • Tom Paine

    From the Mayor’s comments, perhaps we should put more restrictions on “idiots”, and not guns… but that would be discriminatory… especially against the his voter base…

  • Paula J Helms

    I feel sometimes our intelligence as citizens is totally disregarded. It’s not the gun it’s the human behind it. A thug will always be able to get a gun no matter what controls are put on them. This country was founded on freedom of choice not socialism. Get to the root of the problem. The criminal behind that gun!

  • Alex

    Currently, there are already background checks and restrictions aplenty. Some of them are plain stupid, and prevent people who SHOULD be able to own guns for legitimate purposes from owning guns, even though they are NOT criminals! I have seen a decorated veteran who was failed on an BATF background check because he was diagnosed with a mental illness, but the illnes was INSOMNIA! Another man was denied his right to purchasea gun because of a restraining order that was not only fraudulent, but he never was even served with. Seriously, the cracks in our system are becoming chasms. Felons can get a gun off the black market in minutes. Law abiding citizens can be forced to wait weeks, or denied outright, just for BEING law abiding citizens.

    Every time there is any type of “high profile” murder, the knee-jerk response is to add more guntrol laws, restrict more, etc… that is NOT going to help. With schools that no longer teach, parents no longer allowed to discipline their kids, and the general public informed by so many misinformed or outright lies from the media, crime is not going to ease up one bit. The public needs to take responsibility for their own actions, and to police itself, by paying attention to problem children early on and helping them BEFORE they get to a point of murder.

  • Dawn

    And exaclty what percentage of those 100 murders were committed by LEGAL gun owners? How many of those 85% of handguns were legally owned and registered? My guess, none. This is not a problem with legal gun owners purchasing firearms. This is a problem on the street that has to be pinned on someone, so look out law abiding citizens! Since they are to scared of or just can’t find the criminals, they are coming after OUR rights!

  • WhySoSerious

    “Pamela Jones’ son Kevin was also murdered in 2013. She said the culprits are the same three people who killed Myeisha and Damiah. Jones said none would legally be able to possess a gun because of their criminal history.”

    Then explain how they got the weapons, the story doesn’t mention it. Every time I have purchased a firearm I have had to pass a background check, also I have never seen any THUGS at the gun shops I go to, so again I ask where do these, cough (THUGS) get there guns?

    • Terry Roberts

      some criminals commit burglary and sometimes guns are stolen. Then the word goes out that someone has a “clean” gun for sale, which means it can’t be traced. So another criminal buys it and uses it in the commishion of a crime and can get rid of it without being traced. That is how the 3 probably got ahold of a gun to kill the girl and her child. If a crime is commited that involves a gun, wether they are caught stealing it, commiting a robbery, drive by, or anything, then they are major criminals and the law should relflect that and forget parole on any of the above. If they perform a crime with a gun, and are caught and found guilty, then total life in prison with no parole in a maximum security prison should be mandatory. If they are in the process of burglary or robbery or whatever and they are shot during the execution of it, then they should not be able to sue as some has. Turn maximum security into gun related offenses prisons and for non violent crimes use minimum security, non violent meaning no weapon was used or on their person at the time of the event. If caught on the street with a weapon, not registered in their name, then they are a criminal and go to jail for life. I feel after a year or so of this law being in effect and if enforced, then gun violence would go down.

      • WhySoSerious

        Murder=death no life in prison resorts
        rape=life no chance parole
        violent crimes=life minimum 20 years
        robbery/assault=20 year years
        everything else=20 year and less

        To bad it will never happen because we worry more about how criminals are treated then how their victims were violated! This country needs to get tough again to many cowards in charge!

  • Gail

    Seems like Criminals have more rights then the law abiding citizens!! Get the thugs off the streets!! The thugs will always find ways to get guns illegally. Get the thugs before they become thugs…….

  • Chuck

    Back ground checks will not matter, you dont know when someone will snap. You can take all the percautions in the world and it’s still going to happen. Nobody cares about the human life anymore. It’s all about me.

  • PeeWeeKC

    I’m just wondering if the criminals who shot Myeisha Turner, Damiah White and Kevin Jones were legally carrying those guns and did they personally obtain the gun(s) by legal means? I’m also wondering if the subject bill had been a law in-place at the time, would the criminals have still committed the crimes? Finally, I’m wondering if the subject bill makes purchasing a gun illegally a more serious crime than murder with a hammer, screwdriver, brick, baseball bat, ice-pick, butcher knife, tire-iron, car, electric drill…

  • Ed Farmer

    Im sorry but if you restrict gun ownership and try to take away our 2nd amendment rights then the criminals will find illegal ways to obtain firearms. My own home has been broken into twice. Both times they stole firearms and pistols. If a criminal wants a gun they will find one. I think stiffer penalties for gun crimes and open carry policies may actually help prevent crime. I own to protect myself and for sporting reasons. My guns dont hurt anyone but they will if the criminal comes in my home uninvited.

  • Kevin Wagenknecht

    This is a stupid argument you see time after time. It will not help make it harder on regular folks to own guns (which you want) and you disarm those who need them the most. The criminals will still get guns . Where the guns used in the mentioned crimes bought legally? Nope every one who buys a fire arm in Missouri already has to go the background check. Unless they buy from an individual.The best way to stop this is Get the thugs off the street quit letting the concern for their rights trump the victims. Let more folks arm themselves cause a gun in the hand is worth more than any cop that is miles away.

  • Jim Osburn

    They mayor is up for reelection in about 1 year. The city council is looking crossways at the Police Chief because of the city’s high murder rate. This is just PR for them to show that they are working together to clean up the city with knee jerk laws that are already in place, to make themselves look good to the public. There are already over 20,000 gun laws on the books. What on earth makes them think one more will make the bad guys fall in place and do the right thing. Never going to happen

  • Kratzsc

    Once again a liberal mayor is blaming guns for problems that are culture in nature. Look no further than his own inability to control his son and the trouble his son has in following laws on record!

    Do I need this type of individual setting laws for me and my family?

    Another progressive looking to take control of our lives, without controling his.

  • matt


  • Emyla

    I was at the state of the union address yesterday, he said that there was also a difference between the rural parts than the urban and gun control has to be set differently for these parts if some people cannot handle having a gun responsibly, this means mainly keeping guns away from ‘downtown thugs’ that have nothing better to do.

  • JTC

    I’d say more people need guns. That would make crime go down and make criminals think twice..hopefully the Sheriffs (clay,platte, and jackson counties) put their foot down on this one.

  • Worried Citizen

    I have said it a 1000 times……. Criminals and “crazy people” will always carry / find a way to get and use guns if they want ! All you do with “gun control” is make it harder for us law abiding citizens to buy / carry and protect ourselves and our families. WHY do you think they are criminals and crazy people????? BECAUSE they don’t follow / care about the law!

  • Sheila Baker

    everyone in these comments feels the same way and in my opinion, are correct. forget about changing the”law”. none of these murdering individuals follows any “law” on the books as it is. start having gun checks…just like sobriety checks. confiscate all these unregistered, illegally obtained guns and put the thing in possession in jail. if your gun is not registered and purchased properly, you are up to no good. set a standard jail time and DO NOT DEVIATE from it. the laws that need to be changed are the PUNISHMENT laws. and to crimes involving guns, specify….NO DEALS.

  • John Vincenti

    ANY DEATH IS A TRAGITY! So let’s impose background checks and
    More restrictions on the largest cause of deaths in the US, automobiles
    and doctors! That sounds crazy doesn’t it? Well so does Mayor James’s
    position and the Fox 4 News reporter’s miss-information of the facts
    regarding firearm purchasing and ownership in the state of Missouri.
    The Facts:
    There isn’t a Gun Show Loophole; This is buzz phrase used by gun control (grabbers) advocates to miss represent facts.

    All Gun Shops (FFL licensed and regulated by the federal gov.) are
    required by federal law to first verify the purchaser through N.I.C.S.
    before selling them a firearm. The federal government does not have
    jurisdiction to regulate the private sale of a firearm but can prosecute
    a private sale of a firearm to a felon.

    The private sale of a firearm is a private sale between the buyer and
    the seller. Private sales do occur at gun shows but at a very low percentage in comparison the Gun Shops are required by laws and FFL regulations.

    Illegal firearms is another buzz phrase to demonize firearms ownership and To skew the facts to the public. They are not unregistered firearms nor are they a type of firearm, i.e. Saturday night specials or machineguns (fully automatic).

    It is illegal for a felon to possess a firearm, it is not illegal to own privately purchased firearm in Missouri.

    It is not illegal to own a machinegun in Missouri, as long as the buyer passes the background check and the BATF tax stamp ($200) is paid. Missouri does not have gun registration laws (per say),

    Open carry of firearms is not illegal in Missouri, yes you holster your pistol in open view and not need a concealed carry permit to do so.

    Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte should take responsibility for their failure in reducing the gun violence in the city instead of blaming responsible gun ownership. What they should be doing is making the residents in the violence ridden communities safer by maintaining a closer police presence and increasing community
    relations efforts by putting the police in the neighborhoods.

    They might be surprised by the community support if they show the public they are public servants to serve and protect and not Officials that rule! But then something tells me there is another agenda!

  • kevin

    What we need is tougher thug control. This mayor ignores all the juveniles responsible for crime and mischief on the plaza and whines that White kids aren’t punished as much as the black kids then makes excuses for the shooting at the zoo when it was more than likely the same groups of juveniles. Statistics are not racism, ignoring a problem, because most of it is caused by a certain race, is. No he thinks we need to penalize all the legal gun owners for the actions of the illegal ones.