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Bill to create St. Louis gun court winding its way through MO legislature

5:05 PM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
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By Kay Quinn

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - On Tuesday St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce joined NewsChannel 5 at 5 p.m. in our newsroom to talk about the outbreak of violence Monday night.

Seventeen people were shot in seven different shootings in the city.

One of their solutions was a so-called gun court which would speed up justice for people charged with gun violence.

"First of all, we have asked our state legislators to set up an armed criminal docket, so if you're caught with an illegal gun in the city, we pay special attention to you," said Slay. "Now the state legislature did not pass that."

We wanted to find out why, so, we called State Senator Eric Schmitt from Glendale who represents the 15th District. He's the sponsor of Senate Bill 448, which would officially set aside two judges in the city who would handle nothing but cases involving gun violence. It made it out of committee in Jefferson City last session.

Schmitt told us on Skype the good news is, no one opposes it.

"Everybody came together," said Schmitt. "There was a unified front we just simply ran out of time a month ago when we adjourned. But I think that education process that took place last year will really move this forward. This will be one of the first bills that I file spending a lot of energy in making sure this actually happens next year."

Senator Schmitt plans to reintroduce the bill in January. That's when the next legislative session in Jeff City gets underway.


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