Statement from Circuit Attorney Jennifer M. Joyce
Tuesday, prosecutors in the Circuit Attorney’s Office made an important step towards defending public safety and reducing gun violence. Prosecutors submitted a brief regarding Amendment Five to the Missouri Supreme Court compelling the Court to uphold Missouri gun laws that prohibit convicted felons from possessing firearms. For nearly a year, this dedicated team of attorneys has been researching the law and preparing their argument to protect the citizens of St. Louis from people who seek to do harm with illegal weapons. We appreciate those who have stood to support us in our efforts including prosecutors throughout the state, Chief Dotson, Mayor Slay and the City Counselor’s Office.
Since September, criminals have leveraged Amendment Five in an attempt to avoid accountability for illegally carrying weapons. Laws preventing convicted felons from possessing weapons are critical tools we utilize to help keep people safe. My office maintains that Amendment Five did not enhance the rights of law-abiding citizens and we argue that it did not provide any additional rights to convicted felons. As we prepare to make our arguments to the Supreme Court and await their decision on this matter, we will continue to deploy Missouri law to hold gun offenders accountable. As the death toll rises in our city, the matter is more urgent than ever.