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St. Louis mayor voices opposition to repealing gun-free zones in Missouri

Krewson is the latest city official to come out against plan that would allow more concealed weapons in public places

ST. LOUIS — The mayor of St. Louis voiced her opposition Thursday to efforts that aim to repeal gun-free zones in Missouri.

Democrat Lyda Krewson said she believed gun-free zones, especially in urban areas, make us safer.

"I'm in opposition to this bill. I think it makes policing very difficult as if it's not hard enough already," she said.

Krewson was referring to HB258, which seeks to lift gun restrictions and allow concealed weapons in more public places like sporting arenas, daycares and college campuses.

The legislation was filed by State Representative Jered Taylor, a Republican from southwest Missouri.

There are similar bills moving through the legislature that would also allow concealed weapons on public transportation like MetroLink.

"I think more guns, whether it's at Cardinals games or in your daycare makes us all less safe," Krewson said.

Supporters like Taylor believe they would be able to better protect themselves if they could carry in more places.

Some also contend gun-free zones make easy targets for mass shootings and give armed criminals the upper hand.

But Krewson, whose first husband was shot and killed during an attempted carjacking, doesn't see it that way.

In fact, she referenced a shooting outside a Target store in St. Charles this week to make her point.

In that case, a delivery truck driver, Jaylen Walker, 21, was shot and potentially paralyzed after a dispute over a handicapped parking spot.

The alleged gunman, Larry Thomlison, 65, is facing multiple charges, including attempted murder.

RELATED: Charges: Man shot Amazon delivery driver after argument over handicapped parking spot outside Target

"That probably wouldn't have happened if everybody didn't have a gun. That's my opinion. I understand there's others with opinions," she said.

HB258 had a hearing this week, but so far isn't on the chamber's calendar for a vote.

Other city officials, including St. Louis Public Safety Director Judge Jimmie Edwards, have also testified in Jefferson City against loosening gun restrictions in the state.

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