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St. Louis aldermen ban open gun carry – now they have to persuade state legislators to agree

A charcoal sketch of a gun
LA Johnson
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted Friday to completely ban the open carrying of firearms in the city. But the law will require changes in state law in order to take effect.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted unanimously on Friday to pass a gun control measure, but it’s unlikely to take effect any time in the near future.

The bill sent to Mayor Tishaura Jones forbids anyone to openly display a weapon, with a few exceptions. But it depends on the Missouri General Assembly giving cities the right to regulate guns, and the Republican-controlled legislature remains steadfastly opposed to any gun control.

St. Louis has already made it a municipal ordinance violation for someone to openly display a gun unless they have a concealed-carry permit. The new law would apply to everyone, with some exceptions.

In addition to the complete ban on open carry, aldermen have introduced a bill related to the firing of guns in the air, a provision known as “Blair’s Law” that would go into effect if the state legislature allows it.

The board is also considering creating several other municipal ordinance violations for actions such as defacing the serial number on a firearm, which makes the weapon harder to trace.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.