Mo. Senator Says Legislature Will Consider Armed Offender Docket
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s Urban Crime Summit moves to St. Louis today after two days of conversation in Kansas City.
On the agenda will be the creation of an armed offender docket, an idea rejected earlier this week by St. Louis Circuit Court judges. The proposal would have created a special docket for suspects charged with gun crimes.
The judges voted against the plan but state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, doesn’t see that as the end of the line.
“This is something that I’m still very much interested in. I think you would have to not be paying attention to the evening news to not see what seems to be a spiraling impact of gun violence in our region, in our city,” he said.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Police Chief Sam Dotson, and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce have all backed the plan, saying that suspects using guns wait too long to see a judge and then receive sentences which are oftentimes too light.
The trio of St. Louis leaders traveled to Jefferson City in February to make their case before the Missouri Legislature. Slay spokesperson Maggie Crane said Monday that city officials will make the trip again when the legislature reconvenes next year.
Schmitt says he hears Slay and Dotson calling on state lawmakers to force the creation of an armed offender docket and while he agrees it should happen, he would also like to spend more time talking with the judges about their concerns.
Still, Schmitt believes legislation creating an armed offender docket will be introduced in January.
“I want everybody to feel comfortable with this but at the end of the day I do think it’s important from a public policy perspective, which is what my job is as an elected state senator, to try to pursue those ends to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make people feel safe,” he added.