The following is a transcript of an interview with Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas that aired Sunday, June 5, 2022, on “Face the Nation.”
MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to the Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas. He attended the US Conference of Mayors meeting last week and joins us today from San Francisco. Mayor Lucas. Good morning. Welcome back.
KANSAS CITY MAYOR QUINTON LUCAS: Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You heard Senator Toomey he made no promises there. You’re in a city that is a blue dot in a red state. Are mayors like you just completely hamstrung by state legislatures and the Congress here in Washington; is there anything you can actually do to control gun violence?
MAYOR LUCAS: Well, while I believe there are things we can do, I’m incredibly disappointed to hear this big set of ideas that they have and then basically just thrown up their hands and blaming it on prosecutors, fathers not being in the home and a number of issues other than gun violence in our cities. And the Senator’s own city, Philadelphia, we see a mass shooting last night. We see them every day around America. And so mayor’s have agreed to do a number of different things. You’ve seen my city filed lawsuits against gun manufacturers. We’ll continue to clamor for more authorities to be able to help prevent gun violence. But more than anything, we need stronger and tougher laws that protect our children, protect our grocery stores, protect our police officers. If you back the Blue, you back common sense gun reform.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, in your city, Kansas City, according the FBI ‘s latest data, you rank eighth deadliest in terms of city murder rates. I know you were recently at the White House and told reporters it’s important to have locally driven solutions to local problems. So what is the locally driven solution to gun violence in Kansas City?
MAYOR LUCAS: Well, prevention is probably the most important step not just to local gun violence that we see every day, but also mass shootings. If you just have people showing up after a scene, as we’ve seen, tragically in Uvalde, and around America, then we will never get in front of this problem. Some of our locally driven solutions has been making sure that we’re getting guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders. But we need the support of ATF. We need more investigations, we need an actual permanent ATF director, very reasonable things that I think the President has proposed, and that we continue not to get through the United States Senate. We need permitting and background checks to make sure our police officers can actually stop suspected violent offenders before they’re shooting up grocery stores, clubs, or anything in Kansas City. That’s the support we need. And that’s what mayors have been clamoring for. What we do not need are solutions that have already been tried and done. I visit schools every day in Kansas City, almost all of them are fortified. Most of them have armed guards these days, at least one. So these types of solutions, they keep saying have been done. And I think if the Republican Party wants to actually be about solutions, they will say can’t we agree on things that at least will stop gun massacres of our young people?
MARGARET BRENNAN: Missouri is one of the I think 10 states that allow school districts to have staff carry weapons into the classroom to defend the schools. Is that a practical solution? Does it work in Missouri?
MAYOR LUCAS: No, no, it does not. You know, sometimes I get asked is your city ready for a-a massacre, like we saw in Uvalde. And I like to say, well, we have great law enforcement, great collaboration with our schools. We are all concerned that someone can still show up with an AR-15, which I’ve shot before, I’m not against the existence of these firearms. But I think that those are the sorts of things where we will be outmatched almost immediately. And so no, just having someone in a classroom with a firearm is not a simple solution. And what’s more, and I say this as a parent, I don’t want a first grade teacher necessarily worried about a classroom of 20 students, and also worrying about how she can get the faster draw on a mass shooter with this amazing high capacity firearm. That is wholly unreasonable. Red flag laws permitting background checks are very clear solutions. And I think the United States Congress has an opportunity to act and make us all safer. So we’re not reading about a new mass shooting every few days, which has been the story of the past month in the United States.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So gun deaths are at the highest number ever recorded. I mean, they’re just incredible numbers. What is the largest source of weapons in Kansas City? Where are the guns coming from?
MAYOR LUCAS: Well, we’ve already measured that often, they’re coming across our state line. I talked to Mayor Lori Lightfoot in Chicago the other day after US Conference of Mayors. That’s what’s happening. For many of us, even in states with responsible gun legislation, at least some we are seeing that illegal gun trafficking is a huge source of the violent crime incidents in our city. That’s why we asked for better enforcement. That’s why we ask for better tools. You know, when I was growing up in Missouri, which has always been a state that has supported the Second Amendment, we had requirements for you to have a license to carry a concealed weapon. We got rid of that we have constitutional carry like Texas. So folks are walking around every day with lots of firearms and importantly, without law enforcement solutions to be able to ask people, Hey, is your gun licensed? Should you have it? And that leads to tremendous numbers of gun violence in our city.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about some outcry this week in your city. There were there was video that emerged a 26 year old woman who was fleeing arrest. She was shot it got international attention because a witness claimed she was unarmed and pregnant. You said that was false. Can you explain what’s happening?
MAYOR LUCAS: You know, I can explain. Unfortunately, there was a carjacking, the police catch up with the suspect, a woman comes out of the vehicle. She refuses to get down with instructions. And then she runs off with a firearm in her hand. There was an eyewitness who claimed something that was just not factual. Unfortunately, it takes us a few days to get at least a photo out that show she had a gun in her hand. I think what we continue to deal with, and this has been discussed nationally, is that there are concerns with trust of American law enforcement and that’s also in my city. That’s why I think the step the President took about week ago on making sure we have more police accountability is a good thing. But in this situation, the police acted within the law and responsibly, and I’m glad that the woman is out of the hospital. But unfortunately, she’s now facing charges.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mayor Lucas, thank you so much for joining us. And we’ll be back in a moment with more Face the Nation.