Vote leaves KC ordinance regarding drunken gun carriers unenforceable

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City isn't buying a state law when it comes to being drunk and carrying a gun. After a City Hall vote on Thursday, technically the city's ordinance is unenforceable.

The law in Missouri and the ordinance in KC were pretty simple. Both made it illegal to be drunk and have a gun in public. But a few years ago, the state legislature tweaked the state law by stating you "can" be drunk and carry a gun, unless it's discharged negligently.

The city never tweaked its version. In order to have an enforceable ordinance, city laws have to mirror state laws.

The issue was put before the council on Thursday afternoon, but changing the ordinance to fall in line with the state failed 7-6. Those opposed felt mirroring the state weakened the current city ordinance, which prohibits intoxicated people from carrying guns.

With nothing enforceable in KC right now, Councilman John Sharp hopes for another vote soon.

“I think the sooner the better, now that people are aware of this issue I think we have to deal with it, hoping colleagues will reconsider and pass the strongest ordinance we can. But our hands are somewhat tied by state law,” Sharp said.

Some wonder why the state law wouldn't apply. Sharp said that a majority of the time, the crime wouldn't reach the level of being sent to the state prosecutor’s office. Instead it would be handled in municipal court, but without a city ordinance, there's no way to do that anymore.

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2 comments

  • MO Gun Laws

    Fox4, I think you need to do a little more “investigative journalism” and read the MO gun laws before reporting on. The “tweaked” laws, MO R.S. 571, still considers it a crime for a long list of stupid things to do with a gun including acting in a threatening manner or brandishing a firearm. Negligent discharge is not the minimum offense to commit a crime. The law was changed to prevent dumb ordinances like KCMO’s that could throw someone in jail for a felony offense after having a beer and then getting in a vehicle with a legally possessed firearm. Please call Kevin L. Jamison, who helped write the MO concealed carry laws if you need details.

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