This transcript is from an interview with Quinton Lucas, Kansas City, Missouri Mayor, that was broadcast on Face the Nation Sunday, June 5, 2022.
MARGARET BRENNAN : Today we travel to Kansas City, Missouri to meet Mayor Quinton Lucas. He was at the US Conference of Mayors last week, and joins us from San Francisco. Mayor Lucas. Good morning. Good morning.
KANSAS CITY MAYOR QUINTON LUCAS - Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN It's a blue dot in the middle of a red state and you find yourself in this city. Are you and other mayors just being hamstrung in Washington by the Congress and state legislatures? Is there anything you can do to reduce gun violence?
MAYOR LUCAS (Major): I think there are some things we can do. However, I am disappointed to hear that they have a lot of ideas and then just throw up their hands and blame prosecutors, fathers being away from the home, and a host of other issues than gun violence in cities. We saw a mass shooting in Philadelphia last night, which is the senator's home city. They are everywhere in America. So mayors have agreed to do many different things. My city has filed lawsuits against gun manufacturer. We will continue to demand more authorities to prevent gun violence. We need tougher and more robust laws to protect our children, our grocery stores, and our police officers. Common sense gun reform is possible if you support the Blue.
MARGARET BRENNAN I was at the White House recently and you told reporters that it is important to find local solutions to local problems. What is the local solution to Kansas City's gun violence?
MAYOR LUCAS: Prevention is the most important step, not only to local gun violence, which we see every day but also to mass shootings. We will not be able to solve this problem if we just see people coming after a scene as we have seen in Uvalde and across America. One of our local solutions was to ensure that guns are not in the hands domestic violence offenders. We need the support from ATF. We need to do more investigations and we need an ATF director who is actually permanent. These are very reasonable suggestions that the President made, but that we have not been able to pass through the United States Senate. Background checks and permits are needed to ensure that police officers can stop violent offenders from shooting up Kansas City's grocery stores, clubs, and other places. This is the support that we need. That's what the mayors have been asking for. We don't need solutions that have been tried and proven successful. Every day I visit Kansas City schools, and almost all are fortified. These days, most schools have at least one armed guard. These types of solutions are what they continue to claim have been achieved. If the Republican Party really wants to be about solutions, I believe they will ask if we can agree on something that will at least stop gun deaths of our young people.
MARGARET BRENAN: Missouri is among the 10 states that permit school districts to allow staff to carry weapons into schools to protect them. Does that make sense? Is it possible in Missouri?
MAYOR LUCAS (NO, NO, IT DOES NOT). Sometimes I am asked if my city is ready for a-a massacre like the one in Uvalde. And I say that we have great law enforcement and great cooperation with our schools. While we are concerned that someone could still bring an AR-15 to school, which I have shot before, I don't think it is against the existence these guns. However, I believe that these are the types of situations where we will be outmatched almost instantly. It is difficult to have someone with a firearm in a classroom. As a parent, I do not want my first grade teacher to be concerned about 20 students in her classroom and worry about how she will draw a mass-firearm with such a high capacity. This is completely unreasonable. There are clear solutions. Red flag laws that allow background checks and permit them to be enforced are a good start. The United States Congress has the opportunity to make us safer. We're not hearing about another mass shooting every day, as has been the case for the United States over the past month.
MARGARET BRENAN: Gun deaths are the highest ever recorded. They are just unbelievable numbers. Where is Kansas City's largest supply of weapons? Where do the guns come from?
MAYOR LUCAS (EN): We've measured them so often that they are crossing our state line. After the US Conference of Mayors, I spoke to Lori Lightfoot in Chicago. That's what's happening. Many of us are now seeing that illegal gun trade is a major source of violent crime in our community, even in states with sensible gun laws. We asked for more enforcement. We ask for more tools. When I was growing up, Missouri had requirements that you have a concealed weapon license. That requirement has been eliminated and we now have constitutional carry similar to Texas. People are now walking around with a lot of guns and, most importantly, they don't have any law enforcement solutions that would allow them to ask, "Have you got your gun licensed?" Do you need it? This leads to a lot of gun violence in our community.
MARGARET BRENNAN - I'd like to ask about the outcry in your area this week. A 26-year-old woman was seen fleeing arrest in a video. It was captured and international attention was paid to it because a witness claimed that she was pregnant and unarmed. That was false, you said. Can you please explain?
MAYOR LUCAS: I know. The car was stolen. Police catch up to the suspect and a woman emerges from the vehicle. She refuses to follow the instructions. She then runs away with a gun in her hand. An eyewitness claimed something that was not true. It takes us several days to get even a single photo that shows she held a gun in her hands. We continue to deal with the fact that Americans are distrusting American law enforcement, which has been widely discussed. This is also a concern in my own city. The President's decision to increase police accountability about a week ago is a positive thing. In this case, however, the police acted within law and responsibly. I am glad the woman is now out of the hospital. Unfortunately, she is now facing charges.
MARGARET BRENAN: Mayor Lucas, we are so grateful for your presence. We'll be back shortly with more Face the Nation.