© 2023 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas City Council Defies State, Votes Down 'Carrying While Intoxicated'

The Kansas City council voted Thursday not to allow intoxicated persons to carry loaded guns. The ordinance was expected to pass even though everyone on the council thinks it's a bad idea.

City Attorney Bill Geary advised the council public safety committee that a new Missouri gun rights law conflicts with a city ordinance that prohibits carrying a firearm while “under the influence.”

“It's not something I would normally recommend that we do," said Geary. "But if we're going to have a valid ordinance dealing with the unlawful use of weapons, we're required by the state to follow what they do exactly.”

The state law now says unlike “driving while intoxicated,” “carrying while intoxicated” involves a constitutional right that is protected, drunk or sober, unless someone uses the firearm in an unlawful manner.

Geary said the full council had no choice but to comply when the change comes up for a vote.

Mayor Sly James took a firm stand in the issue, saying the city must at some point go beyond telling the Legislature, "Your law sucks but we're going to comply anyway."  The final vote was 7 to 6 against the ordinance that would have legalized carrying firearms while intoxicated.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make nonprofit journalism available for everyone.