Pending Missouri Violent Crime Bill Panned As Tough On Crime

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Conservative and progressive advocacy groups are slamming a bill aimed at combating a surge of violence in Missouri’s largest cities. Groups including the Missouri chapters of the NAACP and Americans for Prosperity say the bill is a return to tough-on-crime policies. It would ramp up penalties for gun crimes, second-degree murder and gang crimes. It also would create the crime of vehicle hijacking, which now is prosecuted as robbery. Prosecutors and other law enforcement groups support the bill. They say it targets violent criminals who need to be locked up. The governor hasn’t indicated whether he’ll sign it.