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Kansas City Council squashes open carry

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- City council members voted on an ordinance to ban the open carry of firearms within the city limits of Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday, and the outcome was unanimous.

RELATED: KCMO considering ordinance to ban open carry within city limits

Kansas City Major Sly James didn't hold back his feelings as he spoke to Kansas City Council members on Thursday. He was extremely open about urging the council to say "no" to allowing anyone to walk around the streets of Kansas City and openly carry or display a gun.

"Open carry may work in rural areas, but I don't live there and it's not the way to go for Kansas City, " said a passionate  Mayor Sylvester "Sly" James during the City Council meeting, which started an hour late.

Thursday afternoon it took Kansas City Council members less than 30 minutes to say "yes" to the controversial open carry ban.

“We’re making progress. We’re going in the right direction. Open carry is a wrong direction to go,” said Mayor Sly James to the city council. “In this city where violence is a problem, where women are battered and beaten, where people get drunk and get into hassles and fights at bars, I don’t think that we ought to be giving them a gun to take it to the next level and saying that’s okay. Open carry doesn't make sense.”

He said he did not want firearms openly carried into churches, schools, restaurants or any other public places.

"As of right now, we have had 39 murders in our community. That's a sad statistic, but I've talked to Police Chief Daryl Forte and we both agree that we are making progress in fighting crime.  Moreover, in a city where gun violence is a problem, we do not need to allow people to just go inside a McDonalds, a supermarket or any other public place and walk in openly carrying a firearm,” said Mayor James.

The Missouri General Assembly recently passed a bill that would prevent local ordinances from prohibiting open carry for anyone with a valid concealed carry permit. Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill, but lawmakers will likely try to override it in September. While that veto remains in place, the city says state law gives them the green light to regulate open carry.

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31 comments

  • Fact Taco

    Now if you have a CCW and you happen to expose your gun on accident you could be charged with a crime. All because some fruit bag was trying to prove a point at a ChinesMart. Thanks, guy!

    • Melvin Taber Sweet Springs Police Dept.

      If you have a CCW and your gun is accidentally revealed a police officer with common sense will not charge the person for open carry because it is not out in the open to see. I would not charge anyone for accidental exposure anyway. However I would have to see their ID and CCW Permit. which I do with every call I go on. I check everyone’s ID and if they have a CCW permit if they are packing.

  • john

    I bet if we did have an open carry law, the crime rate would drop drastically. not neccesarily homocides, but most homocides are committed by unlawfully gun toting criminals, not the law abiding citizens.

  • Hey I read the Constitution. Did you?

    What the ignorant mayor does not realize is having a few lawful citizens carrying actual drops the crime rate because criminals think twice before acting stupid.

    • Melvin Taber Sweet Springs Police Dept.

      This is our Declaration of Independence introduced by Morgan Freeman & read by Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas, Kathy Bates, Kevin Spacey, Whoopie Goldberg, Edward Norton, Renee, Zellweger, Ming-Na, Winona Rider, Benicio Del Toro & Graham Greene in 2002.

      copy and paste the next line in the address bar on google
      TVKim- Watching: Kim’s Picks- Declaration of Independence

  • Dean Carder

    Kansas city does not have a problem with murders caused by open carry of firearms. They have a problem with illegal actions of people. Legal carry of firearms has not been a problem anywhere. lawless people have. The rural city of Excelsior Springs Missouri enacted a similar law and went as far as to leave the interpretation of the law up to the police officers. So it’s possible that a person going on a hunt with a rifle laying in the backseat could be arrested for open carry of a firearm. I left that town partly because of that and I am now disgusted with Kansas City and it’s hoplophobic city council. I would think that a simple search would show far more people killed in car crashes in KC than are killed with firearms. Missouri needs to change it’s law and let the State decide rather than have a piecemeal law across out grand state.

  • Jesse

    Mr James, Your assessment of the city is correct. “Violent and unsafe, the place where women are battered and beaten and there are drunken brawls in the streets”. That kind of honesty is rare by a politician !! This should be your re-election slogan. With the city in such sad shape you need to protect the lawful gun owners with a silly ban. This should clean things up lol..

    • Kalel

      Are you serious, you obviously don’t live in the inner city? Let me share something with you… Criminals don’t care about laws, they don’t care about CCW, or open carry. If they are going to kill or rob you they’re not gonna go get a permit first. Open carry is free for tax payers. However CCW is a paid service through the county sheriff’s department. How is it ok fore me to pay to exercise my constitutional right just to hide my firearm, but police officers don’t conceal their weapons. Why because in the case of emergency they need to be able to draw quickly to save lives. It is more difficult to draw a conceal firearm then an open carried firearm. . This will do Nothing for the Kansas City, murder rate..

  • Kalel

    I will not vote for a mayor that revoked my constitutional right’s, I am ex-military and find it hard to believe that I can risk my life to protect this country, but I do not have the right to protect my family. But wait, if I pay the county then its ok to carry, this is a joke.. Our mayor obviously has run out of ideas and ways to impress liberal voters. But it won’t save us from the guy that decides to walk in a store and shoot the place up..

  • Richard Hunt

    Mayor Sly James talks of hassles at bars an what not I find it humorous simply because his son his own.flesh an blood.has all the troubles he talks.about get real people are going to.carry period one.city won’t stop the state from imposing there will just wait an see I’ll be glad when this guy is no longer mayor how can.anyone trust a guy who.prefers to be called sly seriously kansas city has had fewer gun incidents then most city’s is size do the research don’t just listen to this wind bag

  • where is the justice

    I say get rid of those who wants to stop the rights that are sat up by those before us. And be real with some cops killing fire fighters, is it better to put your life in the hands of a cop or the hands of yourself? If I still lived there I would still carry my piece. I would put my chances up by 11 than carried by six. A city that tries to stop others rights is as bad as criminals. Because they don’t want to solve shit because then what would they be needed for? Nothing just like cops don’t want to solve crimes. They want to sit back and have others do their job. But when you try to report the wrong doing of a Police you get no kind of help.

  • Good for them

    The Constitution is like the Bible. Take part of it out of context to get what you want. Without a Supreme Court ruling changing the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms is only to have a well armed militia. If you can read, it is not written to have a period but a comma. This attitude of arm everybody is out of control. Do you honestly think that a criminal wanting to rob you will avoid you since he sees you carrying a gun? No, they probably just shoot you in the back of the head and get another and better gun than the one they killed you with. Taking a class doesn’t give you the training to make a judgement call. It used to be more of a saying “shoot first, ask questions later” but now appears to becoming the law of the land. Maybe update the 2nd to just that.

    • Dean Carder

      If you want to go with that argument then it just supports gun ownership as every male between the ages of 15 and 50 were required to provide a rifle , shot and powder as well as three days rations. So to put that in modern context and going with you only for the militia theory and including modern rights, everyone between the ages of 15 and 50 shall ne required to provide a standard capacity semiautomatic rifle, ammunition and three days rations. Really? You want 15 year olds playing soldier to support your theory?

  • Steve

    that last comment made at 656 was idiotic. what kind of fool tries messing with someone thats obviously armed?? to think that a criminal would prefer an armed target rather than a defenseless one is just…well…stupid

  • Wayne

    I read this twice and don’t understand it, you cannot have a firearm when intoxicated, you cannot have a firearm if you have a restraining order against you, you cannot carry firearms onto school grounds, and I believe to carry a firearm to a church in MO you have to have the permission of the church to do so. Everything he listed is already been taken care of other than his personal bias along with the personal bias of his followers (such as the leftists who post letters in the KC Star that are hard to read without laughing at the people posting them). This does not stop a gang member or criminal from carrying a firearm, which by the way they will not be carrying the firearm openly, element of surprise is their tactic. This does not stop an abusive spouse from getting a firearm illegally and harming their spouse, this does not stop a criminal from doing a drive by shooting with their illegal gun and this surely won’t stop someone intent on harming someone from getting a gun, carrying the gun and using the gun to harm others. So what does this do? All this does is prevent a law abiding citizen from carrying their firearm openly in public. I’m personally not a fan of open long gun carry because it’s not really practical from a tactical stand point but I don’t see anything wrong with open carry of a handgun.

  • Sheila Baker

    let me ask you, mayor, were any of those 39 murders committed by someone that was legally and openly carrying a weapon? no, they were not, the murders were committed by those carrying and concealing ILLEGALLY the weapons. this tells me the answer is to get the weapons OUT of the hands of those who have them ILLEGALLY. just my opinion

  • Melvin Taber Sweet Springs Police Dept.

    The open carry by a lot of the people may be what lowered the crime rate the chief was talking about. Because the criminal left someone alone because he saw another person carrying a legal gun. When you see a man carrying a gun openly you know he is a legal law abiding citizen. When I see one I think there is my closest backup if I need one. The closest cop to me in this town is miles away not on the next block in a squad car like it is in KC. Even there the closest armed man may be better than the cop in the car around the corner and may mean the difference between life and death.

  • Melvin Taber Sweet Springs Police Dept.

    Hmmmm How many family members or friends does these councilmen know, that carry a gun illegally that may get nervous because a honest citizen next to them is carrying a gun out in the open? Just a thought.

  • Sancho

    Whenever the highway shooter was on the loose shooting at people on 435 ol’ mistah Sly said he wasn’t going to invest resources into finding them, that it was just a part of city life. So he didn’t care about that so he could ban open carry laws. That’s logical

  • Mike Carr

    Sly James is an idiot. Obviously the only prerequisite for the job of Mayor in Kansas City is a pulse. Not one of the murders that have occurred in this city in the last 10 or more years was committed by someone openly carrying a gun or even a legal conceal carry. Who in their right mind could possibly think this would lower violent crime in this city? The Mayor and his mindless minions should all be ran out of town.

  • John

    well it is not the law biding people that is breaking the laws i Know some people that has a CCW that sell weed out of there home you need to look at the law breakers that does not have any respect in the Law’s you are taking are right to protect are self away