(KPLR) - As we noted Monday, the National Rifle Association's national convention is in town this week. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will be in St. Louis Friday to address the NRA. Their convention brings between sixty and seventy thousand gun lovers and their credit cards to town. It's a huge convention and a bonanza for local sales tax collectors and downtown businesses.
Which leaves Mayor Francis Slay and police Chief Dan Isom with mixed emotions, sort of like watching your ex-spouse drive off a cliff, in your new car. The mayor's glad to get the convention business and the tax dollars. The chief's department has a lot of officers who are NRA members and a lot of officer's who'll get overtime because of the convention business. But neither man is exactly a big fan of NRA policies.
Mayor Slay's an active member of a group called, mayors against illegal guns. The mayors group wants punishment for gun dealers who sell multiple guns to individuals who re-sell them. They want to develop technologies to trace illegal guns used in crimes; and they oppose any federal effort to stop mayors and police from being able to trace the ownership path of crime guns.
That last item is what puts police Chief Isom at odds with the NRA. What annoys him is a 2003 federal law called the Tiarht amendment, named after the Kansas congressman who sponsored it. That amendment makes it illegal for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to share much of the data from crime guns. It also restricts local police access to that data. Chief Isom says his department needs to know how and from where crime guns end up on the street.
So how does all that square with the NRA being in St. Louis? It seems the mayor will be glad to hold his nose while he takes their money.
I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.