KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Having grew up in the Kansas City urban core, Mayor Sly James and Police Chief Darryl Forte said they want more families to raise their kids in the area. But to do that they know they must curb gun violence.
On Tuesday the mayor and police chief joined other local leaders to talk about Senate Bill 656, which would allow school districts to designate teachers to carry guns while school is in session. It would also lower the age for a conceal and carry permit from 21 to 19.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill. But now the General Assembly is set to override his veto. Mayor James believe that’s a step in the wrong direction.
“Guns are more readily available in this neighborhood than fresh food. Now there’s something wrong with that,” he said. “We have families in this entire part of the city that are torn apart by violence – day in and day out. And although we have worked very well in this year with collaborative efforts with the prosecutor’s office, with police, with our federal partners, UMKC, to try to correct that and bring it down, and we have succeeded, there is still too much violence.”
Violence, the mayor says is committed by guns. The veto session starts at noon on Wednesday.