St. Louis County Makes Grab for Gun Rights

Alternate title: St. Louis Council Woman Barbara Fraser Proposes Ordinance That Grossly Exceeds County Jurisdiction

Does Barbara Fraser (D, District 5) seriously have nothing better to do than to propose new ordinance violations that are already illegal – minus the storing of firearms? I want to give Fraser and co-sponsor Hazel Erby (D, District 1) the benefit of the doubt here, but this poorly-written proposal assumes that lawfully having a firearm in a house with children is on par with drunk driving your kids around – which is already illegal. Numbers 1-3 of this proposal are already punishable under law: the redundancy is ridiculous.

The statement from Fred Herberer of the Second Amendment Coalition of Missouri:

My understanding is that bill number 6 if enacted would be nullified by Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 21 General Assembly Section 21.750 which states firearms are to be regulated by the legislature alone with the only exceptions being where they can be discharged and where they can be carried openly. So enacting this law would require the county to either later rescind it or waste the county’s taxpayer dollars in a futile attempt to uphold it.

The issue of safe storage is more complicated than it seems on the surface. This bill uses the words “intentionally or recklessly” which would require a judge or jury to read the person’s mind or base a decision on what they consider to be reckless. Previous versions have used wording such as “failed to take reasonable precautions”. But they leave open the definition of “reasonable”.

There is no way to write a law that would protect everyone from guns or 
anything else. And statistics show that gun accidents are a small fraction 
of the accidents from all sources. This type of law puts homeowners at a disadvantage if that gun is needed for self defense. That is part of why the DC law was struck down by the US Supreme Court. It required people to keep their guns stored in a non-functioning state. Anything that delays the homeowners access to a working firearm puts their life in danger because seconds count.

We are not against the safe use and storage of firearms. We are against 
this type of legislation because, as others we have seen before, it is 
worded so vaguely.

If you are truly interested in enhancing the safety of our children, this body should try to encourage the use of the very successful, award-winning Eddie Eagle GunSafe program developed by the NRA.

Begun in 1988, The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program has reached more than 21 million children — in all 50 states. This program was developed through the combined efforts of such qualified professionals as clinical psychologists, reading specialists, teachers, curriculum specialists, urban housing safety officials, and law enforcement personnel.

We ask the council to vote no on this proposal.

Fred W. Heberer
President
Second Amendment Coalition of Missouri

The danger in firearms can be boiled down to two causes:

1) Lack of respect for life

2) Lack of firearm knowledge

Everyone should be taught about firearm safety because, to quote LOTR: those who don’t live by the sword can still die by the sword. It’s ridiculous to literally legislate ignorance; instead of proposing an ordinance that invades private homes and assumes us plebeians require the babysitting services of the county in order to (paying homage to yet another movie) shoot our collective eye out.

If Fraser and Erby think that such an ordinance will deter pistol-waving youths, then they’re even more naive than I thought: guns don’t make people commit crimes, rather, the desire to behave unlawfully is the culprit. They’re attempting to put a band-aid on a symptom and their lack of attention to the real problem of irresponsibility is dangerous – but assuming that simply because they are the government thus they must assume that responsibility is, in my estimation, just as dangerous. I don’t want St. Louis County going trigger-happy with nanny-state attitudes, either.

FYI: More kids die every year from accidents involving space heaters, drowning, bicycles, et al. than from accidents involving guns. We should protect our kids with education and awareness. I suggest that St. Louis County residents attend the next council meeting en masse and demand that this ordinance proposal be dropped.

Let Barbara Fraser know how you feel about her proposed ordinance:

Phone: (314) 615-5441 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Office: Administration Building, 41 South Central, Clayton (1st Floor)
Mail: 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105
E-mail:bfraser@stlouisco.com

Hazel Erby:

Phone: (314) 615-5436 and Fax: (314) 615-7890
Office: Administration Building, 41 South Central, Clayton (1st Floor)
Mail: 41 South Central Avenue, Clayton, MO 63105
E-mail: herby@stlouisco.com