COLLINSVILLE, IL (KMOX) – The head of the National Rifle Association says St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is wrong to try to take guns off the street but right on something else.

“You use a gun to commit a crime, go to prison. Period,” NRA President David Keene said, adding that we need tougher sentences for what he terms “gun criminals.”

“If you want to deal with gun crime, with violence in the streets, you have to go after the gangs,” he said. “You have to go after these people and you have to put them away. If you do that, you have some impact. If you don’t do it, you don’t have the impact.”

In response to a question posed by a KMOX News reporter, Keene said that, while he doesn’t know specifics of Slay’s  “gun docket” proposal, the idea behind it is spot-on.

“It’s been tested time and time again and proven that if you punish criminals who use firearms for criminal purposes then the use of firearms for those purposes is going to decrease dramatically.”

Keene says another way to drive down crime is to put more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Not surprisingly, Keene says that he and the NRA absolutely do not support gun buy-back programs, arguing that they have no impact whatsoever.

Keene was in Collinsville last Friday to speak with a group of Metro East Republicans about the Second Amendment.

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