Kansas City Police and firefighters say 22 people were shot in this afternoon’s mass shooting west of Union Station, as the Chiefs victory rally ended. One person was killed. State Rep. David Tyson Smith (D-Columbia) was inside Union Station when the deadly shooting happened. He had been attending the rally with his daughter. He joined us live during special coverage this afternoon on 939 the Eagle, telling listeners that he thought he heard a gunshot. Representative Tyson Smith says there was a lot of confusion as everyone started screaming and ducking and running outside Union Station. He praises Kansas City Police officers and other law enforcement who ran inside, saying they ran toward danger and showed no hesitation:
Legislation prohibiting the purchasing of semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms by anyone under the age of 20 has been filed again by a mid-Missouri state lawmaker.
“I’m you know for people having the right to possess firearms. I think people should have the right to defend themselves. But teenagers really don’t need to be buying AR-15’s and AK-47’s,” Representative Tyson Smith says.
Representative Tyson Smith filed a similar bill last year that never received a House committee hearing. It was referred to a committee on the final day of Missouri’s 2023 session. It did come up for discussion on the Missouri House floor as an amendment.
“A lot of these horrific shootings we’ve seen in recent years … Uvalde, Texas, the high school in St. Louis, there was a shooting in Buffalo … all involved a teenager going out and buying an AR-15 style weapon and shooting up a school. So, there’s no reason for that and I think most people would agree that there’s no reason for that,” says Representative Tyson Smith.
He says several Republicans he’s spoken to have open minds about his bill and tells 939 the Eagle that he’s hopeful it will pass at some point.
While Republicans have supermajorities in both chambers in Jefferson City this year, State Rep. David Tyson Smith (D-Columbia) is hopeful about the 2024 session. Representative Tyson Smith tells 939 the Eagle that people are tired of division.
“And it’s time for hope and it’s time for change. And I think, it doesn’t matter what party people are in: I believe we can work together and get things done that benefit everybody. We need to put down rancor and division and move forward and come together as a people,” Representative Tyson Smith says.
There are several issues where there is bipartisan support in both chambers. They include University of Missouri funding, transportation improvements, child care and state employee pay. Representative Smith plans to file a bipartisan bill this year aimed at preventing the stealing of vehicle catalytic converters. He says the issue impacts the entire state: rural, urban and suburban.
“It’s an epidemic in Missouri and around the country,” says Representative Tyson Smith.
He’s worked with State Rep. Don Mayhew (R-Crocker) for a few years on this issue. The Missouri House approved their bipartisan bill last year, but it died in the Senate due to a filibuster on unrelated issues.
Most of Missouri’s 196 state lawmakers will also be attending the Governor’s prayer breakfast tomorrow morning. It’s from 7:30 to 9:30 am at Jefferson City’s Capitol Plaza Hotel.
Missouri’s largest business organization is praising the state’s $2.8 billion plan to rebuild and six-lane I-70 from Wentzville to Blue Springs. Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Dan Mehan tells 939 the Eagle that it’s historic.
“I-70 is the beltway for the country and it started in Missouri and it’s been far too long since we invested back in it,” Mehan says.
The I-70 project will start in Boone County. Chamber president Mehan says the project will have major economic benefits. He’s praising state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for supporting the bill, and praises GOP Governor Mike Parson for signing it.
“When the Legislature did that, they put a mark for Missouri for the rest of the country saying we will be the logistics and distribution center for not just the region but for the nation and for the continent,” says Mehan.
Numerous state lawmakers from across Missouri joined the governor at the August Columbia bill-signing ceremony. GOP State Reps. Cheri Toalson Reisch (R-Hallsville), Kent Haden (R-Mexico) and Tim Taylor (R-Speed) attended, along with House Assistant Minority Floor Leader Richard Brown (D-Kansas City) Democratic State Reps. Doug Mann, David Tyson Smith and Kathy Steinhoff (all D-Columbia).
Bipartisan legislation that designates June 12 of each year as Women Veterans Appreciation Day has been signed by Missouri’s governor.
The bill was sponsored by State Rep. David Tyson Smith (D-Columbia), at the request of Mission Promise Kept’s executive director at Stephens College. Smith’s late grandmother served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. He tells 939 the Eagle that she would be beside herself, with the new law.
“You know she was such a patriot, she loved her country. She used to have little war sets with model tanks and planes and everything. I learned about World War II from her, and played games with her about naval ships and naval warfare,” Representative Smith says.
Representative Tyson Smith’s grandmother also worked on bombers when they came in. He says he’s grateful for all of the sacrifices of U.S. servicewomen throughout the decades.
“So the bill just honors women veterans for their service. It shows them appreciation and gratitude. Sometimes they haven’t been treated equally over the past several decades, so it kind of evens the playing field. But just it honors them, and so I’m excited for so many of them and their families,” says Smith.
He tells 939 the Eagle that June 12 comes from former President and Missourian Harry Truman. Smith says June 12, 1948 was the day that President Truman allowed all women to serve permanently in the U.S. armed forces.
Meantime, Representative Smith is giving a shout out to two GOP legislators for helping him pass the bipartisan legislation. He says State Sen. Jason Bean (R-Peach Orchard) and House Veterans Committee chair Rep. Dave Griffith (R-Jefferson City) were key allies.
“It’s not happening without Senator Bean or Representative Griffith. You have to have friends on the other side of the aisle to get anything done in Jefferson City. So yeah, Rep. Griffith has been great,” says Smith.
Air Force veteran and Mission Promise Kept executive director Elizabeth Herrera joined Governor Mike Parson and Representative Smith at the recent bill-signing ceremony.