Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, along with St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, held a listening session with family members of gun violence victims the morning before his swearing in for his second term as mayor. 

The mayor and KCPD Police Chief Stacey Graves listened to the stories of mothers who lost children to gun violence and representatives from anti-crime group Moms Demand Action, including the organization’s National Executive Director Angela Ferrell-Zabala. 

“You need to have your heart broken sometimes,” said Lucas. “If you start to think of homicides and shootings as just numbers, you’re missing it.”

Kansas City is however experiencing a surge in homicides, and is on pace to break a grim 2023 murder rate higher than the previous record set in 2020.

At the mayoral and city council inauguration just minutes later, Lucas proposed two new city ordinances he hopes will help curb gun violence. 

The first proposal would prohibit minors from buying ammunition without parental consent. The second ordinance would ban “Glock switches” that can turn a handgun into an automatic weapon. 

“In Kansas City, I say clearly and unambiguously, guns and ammunition being given to minors; guns in the hands of the wrong people; guns modified to be more potent than the Prohibition-era machine guns are the problem and are killing our community,” said Lucas. 

The ordinances, which Lucas plans to introduce at the first meeting of the new city council, have been drafted in a manner to get around state laws that prevent local governments from enacting their own gun control laws. 

The proposed measures would complement the $30 million in additional funds for anti-violence programs approved by the previous council.

“We can be a place that knows life is not either/or; we can invest in prevention and alternatives to enforcement, while working with law enforcement to build safer communities,” said Lucas. 

Mayor & Council Inauguration Highlights

  • Twelve city council members were also sworn in at the ceremony. While five council members are returning for their second and final four-year term, seven were being sworn in for the first time. 
  • For the first time ever, the council will feature three Black women: Melissa Robinson, Melissa Patterson Hazley, and Ryana Parks-Shaw.
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly gave remarks praising both the mayor and city council’s efforts with the new airport, World Cup selection, and the ending of financial border wars between the states. 
  • Gov. Kelly jokingly offered to adopt Kansas City, MO, by quipping, “All that being said, my offer to annex your fair city still stands.”
  • Mayor Lucas said that while he appreciated the offer, he couldn’t see Gov. Kelly during her speech because the Missouri state flag was blocking his view.