St. Charles State Senator proposes bill that would ban enforcement of red flag laws
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The Missouri Senate is considering a bill that would ban a red flag law before such a law is even passed by the Missouri Legislature or the US Congress.
The bill, SB 10, would ban such red flag laws, sometimes known as ‘extreme risk protection orders’, typically entail temporarily seizing a gun from an individual following a court order.
Senator Bill Eigel (R) of St. Charles, who is also running for Missouri Governor, is adamantly opposed to red flag laws, saying that kind of law would take firearms away from the wrong people.
He believes no law would stop gun violence in St. Louis.
“The leadership structure in the city of St. Louis is letting lawlessness and chaos to persist. So until that changes there is no red flag law or gun control measure that would be inflicted upon law abiding citizens of the state that is going to change the direction,” said Eigel.
His bill the ‘Anti Red Flag Gun Seizure Act’ would ban any enforcement of red flag laws in Missouri, even if US Congress passed the law.
A red flag could have prevented last year’s mass shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. The St Louis Police Department said at the time they were working with the family of the shooter to confiscate a gun, but tragedy occurred before that could happen.
News 4 asked Eigel if he was worried more mass shootings would happen in Missouri if there was a lack of a red flag law.
“I worry that if we don’t address the root causes of the crime in these areas, which is prosecutors not prosecuting criminals, then it doesn’t matter what we pass,” said Eigel.
Kristin Bowen, a volunteer for Moms Demand Action, an organization that seeks gun control laws, said gun violence in Missouri is already sky high.
“I mean the bottom line is that Missouri has some of the weakest gun laws in the country already and this gun law will push us in the wrong direction,” said Bowen.
She said a red flag law may have prevented the school shooting at CVPA High School in 2022, but it would also go a long way in rural communities, particularly with suicide deaths.
“When people think about red flag, they think about school shootings and mass shootings but in fact we’re talking about saving lives and preventing tragedies that don’t grab headlines,” said Bowen.
While there is no red flag legislation on the books statewide or nationally, the State of Missouri received $5.4 million from the federal government this month for crisis intervention programs, which can include red flag provisions.
Eigel was blunt when asked how he would stop gun violence in St. Louis, pointing the finger at embattled Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.
“I think the simplest thing we can do is start prosecuting criminals. I mean sometimes the easiest answer is the most pressing,” said Eigel.
President of the St. Louis Board of Education told News 4 that this was “ridiculous” legislation.
He said he wants reasonable solutions to prevent mass shootings in schools, going on to call the shooting at CVPA “preventable.”
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