The city of St. Louis has a long and proud tradition behind it. But present day, under a Soros-funded prosecutor and radical leftist mayor, crime has skyrocketed. Per capita, St. Louis is America’s most dangerous city. And now, gun owners who fall victim to car break-ins are being cited by the city for not having a safe inside their car to store their personal defense gun.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones says of citing crime victims with local ordinance violations: “I think it’s great.”
We all know that keeping your gun on your person remains the safest place for it. Few people want to leave a firearm in a locked vehicle, but oftentimes prohibited location signs necessitate it.
Like here in Illinois, Missouri has a lot of prohibited locations. Or at least they did before constitutional carry. Unlike Illinois, ignoring those signs in the Show-Me State carries relatively trivial penalties for carrying in most posted locations.
However law-abiding people tend to be law-abiding to a fault. If carry is prohibited, we disarm and leave our carry gun in the car.
Couple that with criminals who commit crimes with impunity with little fear of apprehension or prosecution, and, thanks to a city ordinance enacted a few years ago, St. Louis cops regularly hand out violations to those whose guns are stolen. Violations are punishable by a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for failing to secure a firearm in a vehicle in a safe.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the story . . .
Judge Newton McCoy asked each of the two defendants before him the same question.
“Did you get your safe and install it in your truck?”
It was early December, and he was asking about guns.
McCoy is a municipal judge for the city of St. Louis. On Dec. 8, he gave two men an opportunity to have the charges against them dismissed. Each man was a victim of crime — a car breaking and theft downtown, near Busch Stadium — but they were also charged with an ordinance violation. Since 2017, the city has had a law on the books that makes it illegal to leave a fi rearm in an unattended vehicle unless the weapon is in a locked case of some sort. The law, sponsored by former Mayor Lyda Krewson when she was an alderman, is intended to cut down on the number of stolen guns that are used in crimes.
The ordinance passed unanimously and then mostly sat on a shelf collecting dust for five years. That changed in 2022 when police began writing tickets for the ordinance violation, particularly downtown, and the city counselor’s office started filing charges in such cases. Police in St. Louis have long lamented that guns stolen out of cars add to the crime in the city. Now, the administration of Mayor Tishaura O. Jones has decided to tackle that problem.
“Mayor Jones has long stated that it takes all the tools in our toolbox to reduce and prevent crime,” said spokesman Nick Dunne, in an emailed statement. “This effort works similarly to promoting and giving away gun locks — secured guns guarantee a reduction in guns that make their way into our streets.”
It is not clear what led to the enforcement of the ordinance. The police department and city counselor’s office both declined comment. The mayor’s office first told me that the new enforcement was initiated by the police department, then rescinded that statement.
But whatever its genesis, it’s clear the law is being enforced, creating a bit of a conundrum for folks who drive downtown for whatever reason and end up a victim of a crime, then get charged with one themselves.
Last year, according to city records, 192 people received a summons for a violation of the unattended firearm in a vehicle ordinance. Violation of the law carries a potential fine of up to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.
What’s next? Will St. Louis nanny-state politicians start citing rape victims for indecent exposure because their skirts were too short or their tops were cut too low?
The good news is judges are taking a reasonable approach to enforcement. They’re not imposing fines or jail time if those who are cited buy a safe for their car. According to the Post-Dispatch story, no one has paid a dollar or spent a day in jail yet.
But if St. Louis wants fewer guns stored in vehicles, maybe they should have fewer places where law-abiding residents are prohibited from carrying a firearm. Or alternatively, maybe they could start arresting more car burglars and other criminals and prosecuting them.