A state Senate committee has started its special legislative session work on a violent crimefighting package.
The plan includes creating a witness protection fund and requiring judges to consider whether youth should be tried as adults for crimes involving guns.
During a committee hearing, St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards says since the Legislature’s 2017 passage of a bill allowing permitless gun carry, the number of juveniles carrying guns has surged.
The American Civil Liberties Union says the legislation is another ramp for juveniles to be thrown into the criminal justice system and raises racial bias concerns.
The committee has not yet voted on the package.