ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — There’s too many illegal guns in STL. That’s what St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce tweeted Wednesday to her 2,200 plus followers.
Her office had just charged five men ranging in age from 18 to 34 with unlawful possession of a firearm. Each case was different, starting with an 18-year-old suspect who had never been in trouble before, to a 30-year-old who had three prior convictions and another man who was a documented gang member.
“These are people who are either convicted felons who are not legally able to carry guns or people who are carrying guns concealed without going through proper legal channels to do so,” said Joyce.
She’s worried that carrying a gun in St. Louis is simply becoming, “just what you do.”
Joyce said she supports an armed offender docket in the court system. Two judges along with advice from UMSL criminologist would handle gun cases and determine what approach is best to turn lives around whether it be prison for the gang member and probation for the 18-year-old with no record.
Gangs in St. Louis
“Anyone that tells you St. Louis doesn’t have gangs doesn’t know the issue,” Joyce told KMOX Thursday.
Joyce said St. Louis doesn’t have what she called “corporate gangs” like in Los Angeles or Chicago, but “they’re every bit as deadly and they’re every bit as armed.”
Joyce said many of the firearms are stolen and others are passed around or shared by gangs.