Sara Howard of Webster Groves, holds her daughter Olivia Wyche, 5, as they attend a rally by the St. Louis chapter of the national group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America on Saturday, March 30, 2013 in Kiener Plaza in St. Louis. Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle, email@example.com
ST. LOUIS • The city of St. Louis is “armed to the hilt,” and must change that to prevent violence such as the crossfire shooting of a 4-year-old girl last week, Mayor Francis Slay told a crowd of gun-control advocates Saturday.
“This has to stop,” said Slay, speaking to about 150 people gathered at Kiener Plaza downtown.
Slay and other speakers called for assault weapons bans, universal background checks and other reforms in the wake of the massacre of 20 children and six educators by a gunman at a school in Newtown, Conn., in December.
“I’m here because our streets of St. Louis are awash with guns,” Slay told the crowd. He noted that he was one of about 850 mayors nationally calling for stricter gun laws, with the focus on requiring universal background checks.
Current federal law allows gun sales from unlicensed sellers with no such checks.
“Background checks have nothing to do with doing away with guns,” Slay said. He maintained that tightening those background checks was “not inconsistent with the Second Amendment.”