Federal prosecutors recently filed drug and gun charges against 25 individuals from St. Louis and neighboring areas. Some of the suspects are from a motorcycle gang, the Saddle Tramps Motorcycle Club.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the defendants are part of drug rings, which produce and distribute methamphetamine. Prosecutors claim that the defendants have been involved with criminal activities involving drugs and guns since October 2010.
A proposal to change gun laws: Missouri House Bill 436
The charges came at a time when the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis had mentioned its opposition to Missouri House Bill 436. The bill was vetoed by the governor, and after a recent push to override the governor’s refusal in September 2013, the bill fell one vote short of approval in the state’s Senate.
The proposed law would not have recognized federal laws, which “infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In effect, the bill would have assigned misdemeanor charges to federal officials who enforced those laws.
Additionally, the proposal would have prohibited the publication of gun owners’ names and lowered the age to acquire a weapons permit from 19 to 21. Also, the legislation planned to allow specific school officials to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
Missouri House Bill 436 had bipartisan support; however, the state attorney general and law enforcement vehemently opposed it. Had the bill passed, criminal defendants could have potentially had the right to sue law enforcement in specific gun cases.
Missouri gun crimes
Despite the legislative attempt to alter Missouri’s gun laws, firearm charges are considered serious in the state. Moreover, if one faces charges for a gun crime in connection with another purported criminal offense, the results of a conviction could increase time behind bars.
Gun charges may arise in several different contexts. Some of the most common cases include:
- Unlawful discharge of a firearm.
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
- Concealed weapons.
- Drug possession or trafficking while carrying a weapon.
Drug possession or trafficking while carrying a weapon could be akin to the offenses faced by defendants in the aforementioned case.
If you are confronting criminal charges for a firearms offense, you may benefit from speaking with a qualified criminal lawyer. Because gun crimes are considered extremely egregious by law enforcement, it is not uncommon for the state to prosecute such offenses aggressively. If you would like a professional to assess and evaluate your case, contact a legal professional in your area.