Divided council maintains illegal to carry gun while drunk - WNEM TV 5

Divided council maintains illegal to carry gun while drunk

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Missouri General Assembly allows drunks to carry weapons, but seven Kansas City Council members balked at changing city ordinance to match state law.

Kansas City currently says it is a crime to possess or fire a weapon while intoxicated. The possession part is in conflict with state law.

City attorneys told council members that if they didn't change the ordinance then they couldn't enforce it.

The council voted 7-6 to keep the ordinance the way it is currently written following a spirited debate Thursday afternoon.

Some council members reluctantly supported the ordinance change because municipal ordinances cannot be more restrictive than state law.

But Mayor Sly James led the opposition. He said legislators had enacted a bad law and Kansas City should not do the same, a city spokesman said.

Under Missouri law, an intoxicated person has to use a weapon in a negligent or unlawful manner before they are considered to have committed a crime. If the weapon is fired in self defense while the person is intoxicated, then that's allowed.

Councilman John Sharp was unhappy about having to make the change.

"It makes it difficult for us to do anything for those who are drunk and have a loaded gun on them," he said. "It's kind of like saying it's OK for you to drive drunk as long as you don't hit anyone."

Council members say if you don't like state law then notify your state lawmaker.

Watch KCTV5 at 6 p.m. for more on this developing story.

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