Missouri AG calls out St. Louis mayor over anti-gun push

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

The mayor of St. Louis wants gun control. She’s announced that she wants to ban all kinds of guns; things such as AR-15s and AK-pattern rifles.

As her city is one of the most violent in Missouri, I get her feeling like she needs to do something.


However, “do something” isn’t always the best way to approach stuff. That’s especially true when the thing you want to do–local gun control, in this case–is something you can’t legally do.

In case people forget, Missouri has preemption, and the state’s attorney general just reminded the good mayor not to overstep her authority.

Mayor Tishaura Jones announced a series of gun control measures that she hopes will help prevent gun violence in the region and said she’s prepared for state officials in Jefferson City to push back.

The proposals, which she said would come from bills in the Board of Aldermen, would ban military-style weapons, such as AR-15′s and AK-47′s, as well as prevent youth from obtaining firearms and banning ghost guns.

“We’re ready to fight like hell at the local level to prevent gun violence, protect our babies and keep our community safe,” said Mayor Jones.

She said the city has been able to find loopholes in state law to pass an ambitious set of gun laws.

Attorney General Andrew Bailey also chimed in to say he’ll fight back.

“Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny, and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement,” said Bailey in a letter to Mayor Jones.

Peter Joy, a Washington University law professor, said a citizen could also potentially sue in federal court.


You can read Bailey’s entire letter here:

So why is Jones doing this when she has to know that the loopholes she claims exist don’t?

Well, first, never assume that an anti-gunner’s self-delusions have a limit. I’m quite sure she believes she found a loophole. In fact, I’m just as sure that she believes it as I’m sure that such a loophole doesn’t exist.

And if it did, I’d expect the Missouri legislature to close it pretty damn quickly.

But it doesn’t.

And if she and the city council pass such a law, expect that the state will put a hurt on that so fast it’ll break the sound barrier over the state of Missouri.

Plus, as is noted elsewhere in the piece, a citizen could always challenge the law in federal court, where strict scrutiny is now an anti-gunner’s dream compared to the text and history standard put in place by the Bruen decision.

And that’s probably for the best because strict gun laws don’t work, a fact that even Jones acknowledged at least once.


So she knows it doesn’t work, even.

But she has to appear to be doing something, even if that something is useless. It’s not about impacting crime or doing good, it’s about putting something out that can be spun to look like she’s taking the issue seriously.


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