Gov. Mike Parson met with the mayors of the state’s four largest cities Monday and announced his support of gun legislation focused on juveniles, domestic abusers and prior offenders — areas which would for the most part mirror already existing federal law.

In announcing his support of the measures alongside Columbia Mayor Brian Treece, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, Parson told reporters it was part of an “immediate” response to what has been a violent year in Missouri.

More pressing issues surrounding firearms and constitutional rights must wait, he said, indicating the measures presented might have a chance at passage in the gun-friendly, Republican-majority legislature.

“One of the things we are really focusing on is what can we do in the immediate future,” Parson said. “There are a lot of long-term discussions to be had in this state, we are all pretty familiar with that when it comes to the Second Amendment, when it comes to the guns on the streets, but there are a lot of things in-between that I think we can get done.”

The mayors have met several times in recent weeks and in October announced a common front to battle violence statewide. Part of their approach is a three-point plan to enlist better witness protection services, greater access to mental health services and what they have described as a “common sense” approach to gun violence.

Treece said the priority is keeping guns out of the hands of children, domestic abusers and violent offenders.

“This is common-sense gun reform legislation that I am hopeful in the next 30 days we can find some common ground to really pursue some of those tangible efforts to really reduce and prevent crimes in our respective communities,” Treece said.

McClure thanked his fellow mayors and Parson for meeting several times on the issue of violence.

“Our focus has been that common problem we have, even though it has variations in each of our communities, of violence and crime, how best can we address that,” McClure said. “So we have come up with three priorities we want to make our initial focus.”

Both state and federal statutes already make it illegal for a felon to be in possession of a firearm. The legislative focus would be on empowering prosecutors to make deals with violent offenders to voluntarily surrender their Second Amendment rights in exchange for a lesser sentence, Treece said.

“In September, the majority of arrests that were made in the homicides we had during that period of unrest, all had some type of prior felony charge that if they were prosecuted as a felon, would have prevented their carry of a gun,” Treece said. “But because they were plead down to a misdemeanor, they obviously continued to carry that handgun.”

Federal law already makes it illegal for some domestic violence suspects and convicts to own a weapon. However, there is no state mechanism to remove guns from the hands of domestic abusers, as on the federal level, and the GOP legislature’s move to allow concealed weapons to be carried without a permit raised questions as to whether abusers could be identified without an adequate background check in place.

Kristin Bowen is a volunteer for Missouri Moms Demand Action, a grassroots organization which advocates for gun reform. On Monday she applauded the announcement that state and local leaders would take a look at issues the group has been raising for years regarding violent offenders and domestic abusers, describing it as a nonpartisan issue that affects all Missourians.

“We stand ready to work with Missouri leaders, including the governor, mayors, and law enforcement and look forward to learning more about the proposals to address the crisis of gun violence across the state,” Bowen said. “Lawmakers in Jefferson City would also do well to look across the border to Kansas, where lawmakers have worked across the aisle to make the state safer by passing legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.”

Federal law requires anyone purchasing a handgun to be at least 21, with the age limit set at 18 for long guns. Minors in Missouri can possess a firearm with a parent's permission. Those having firearms illegally, however, are often put in a grey area as prosecutors and the courts are reluctant to charge juveniles federally.

The details of the legislative proposals were not presented at the press conference and with many juvenile crimes committed by offenders with a stolen weapon, it was not clear what effect additional age restrictions at the state level might have.

“Stealing comes from different models, whether it comes from guns or property, what happens, that becomes a crime of opportunity also,” Parson said. “Maybe you're not looking for a gun, you find a gun, and that gun ends up on the street. Those are the things we have got to address.”

Parson admitted the potential legislative fixes raised during the meeting are short-term ideas, but he feels those might have a chance in the legislature, he said.

“We can name 10 different things here, but the reality of it is, if you can't do seven of the 10, what are we doing wasting our time talking about it. The whole idea today was to narrow it down to these three items and I think those are all doable.”

Legislation to address root causes, such as poverty, drugs, a lack of mental health services and education shortfalls, would need to be addressed as part of a long-term strategy, Parson said.

“We still have got to do something about the poverty across this state,” Parson said. “We’ve got to do something about the people we are talking about who may be escalating this violent crime. It is still going to come back to education, it’s going to come back to workforce development and how do we give people hope in this state to get out of those situations.”