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I think this is part of the folklore of this country that doesn't make much sense.

That is all I have.

Senator HRUSKA. Well, Mr. Chairman, I would like to suggest that those who come here advocating this measure and similar measures condemn just as severely all citizenry of this Nation to a point of regilation and a point of supervision and surveillance which doesn't reflect too well on them. Now, it is one thing to comment on those who oppose this legislation

. and comment on their apprehension about what bureaucrats do, and so on. It is another thing to comment on those who favor it and say al: of these people, whether they are potential criminals within urban centers, or whether they are law-abiding citizens in the vast reaches of the Middle West, that they should all be equated. And I don't believe they should.

Now, it is true the Secretary of the Treasury has administered the Federal Firearms Act for many, many years. Had he been guilty. however, of any overreaching or any oppressive acts, I would wager that there would be bills introduced in the Congress to say he shall not do certain things, if he went beyond his pale.

And the fact that he hasn't is to his credit.
Senator Dopp. That is just my point.

Senator Hruska. It is to his credit. And yet his authority is being extended here. He is being authorized and directed to get into tas areas which many of us feel he should not. That is why we oppose some aspects of this bill--not all of them, but some of them.

Senator Dopp. Very well.
That is all, Mr. Foote.
Mr. FOOTE. Thank you, sir.

Senator HRUSKA. Mr. Chairman, May I ask there be inserted in the record at the beginning, with the other opening remarks, a statement I have prepared?

Senator Dodd. Yes.

Chief Brostron, chief of police, St. Louis, Mo., accompanied by Maj Adolph Jacobsmeyer.

Chief. we are very glad you are here. We look forward to hearin. you testify. You go right ahead.



Mr. BROSTRON. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I. name is Curtis Brostron. I am chief of police of the Police Depar:ment of the City of St. Louis.

It is the responsibility of our department to protect the life u. property of about 750,000 people who sleep in St. Louis, and we has the impact of a million and a half to two million people from tim metropolitan area in the city of St. Louis every day at high noon.

In addition to protecting their life and property, we are charge with the prevention of crime, with the preservation of peace, with the management and control of traffic, so that people may not get i.. jured in accidents, and to enforce all the laws.

We feel very fortunate that we have a police department that contains many dedicated police officers who do a tremendous job in fulfilling this obligation.

We receive a great deal of support from responsible citizens, and from our mass media in St. Louis, to help us to manage and control crime.

But at our very best, we cannot hope to eliminate it without the support of responsible citizenry, which we hope we will always continue to have, and legislation in any form that might help our police officers manage and control crime.

Therefore, as chief of police of St. Louis, I am strongly in favor of Senate bill No. 1592, since I feel it will at the very least make the acquisition of firearms more difficult for persons with criminal intent. For others, the increased difficulty in obtaining firearms will perhaps remove temptation, particularly in the case of juveniles.

I have with me today Maj. Adolf Jacobsmeyer, who has had many years of service in the department and who has spent a great deal of those years working in the field of juveniles, and he will address himself to some of the pertinent problems in that area.

It is my opinion that many criminals would not commit a crime if they did not have the built-in threat of a gun to use. Here again, many juveniles feel like big men when they get the power of a gun in their hands, and consequently get big ideas.

I cannot answer any questions as to hardships that may be imposed upon importers or manufacturers as a result of this bill, but as a law enforcement official, with over 35 years of experience in the field, I can tell you with complete sincerity and candor that firearms create many problems for police departments.

The ease with which guns can be obtained increases crime and the danger of the police officers doing their duty.

In St. Louis it is unlawful to buy, sell, transport, or have in actual possession a machinegun. Likewise, it is against the law to carry a concealed weapon. In this regard we have worked very closely with the local task unit on anything that would pertain to the length of weapons or anything like a machinegun.

The crime of carrying concealed weapons is a particular problem the law enforcement agencies face. During the period from June 1, 1964, to May 31, 1965, 658 persons in St. Louis were arrested on the charge of carrying concealed weapons. Of these, 414 carried revolvers, 207 pistols, 12 had 22 caliber rifles, 7 high-powered rifles, and 17 had shotguns.

Our percentage in obtaining warrants for those arrested is about 15 percent. During the past few months of this year, our percentage of warrants issued is better because we have a new attorney who has issued more warrants in these cases and authorized prosecution.

But the problem remains that it is extremely difficult to make a legal search of an individual only suspected of carrying a concealed weapon. It is true we are getting a gun off the street when we arrest the suspect, but the individual arrested more often than not is free to go right back out and obtain another gun with which to commit a crime.

In addition to the concealed weapon charges, a total of 772 other felonies involving firearms were committed in St. Louis the past 12 months. These included homicides, assault to kill, burglaries, flourishing dangerous and deadly weapons, and robberies.

Miscellaneous police actions dealing with firearms such as suicide, accidental shootings, peace disturbance, common assaults, and guns found total 223.

This means that in St. Louis our officers were involved in 1,867 cases dealing with firearms.

Our crime laboratory examined each of these guns during this period. Our laboratory commander tells me that for the past several months .22 caliber German revolvers, which sell for $10 to $15 each, have been received at the rate of 1 per day in our crime laboratory in St. Louis. Obviously these are easily and cheaply accessible.

Senator Dodd. These, by the way, are mostly mail order?

Mr. BROSTRON. Yes, sir; I have one here that is an actual case. That was seized on March 3, 1965. It had been used in assault with intent to kill, discharging firearms. It is not new to you because you have the same model on your board here.

In the area of homicide, we have had 66 murders so far this year, 49 of them by pistol or shotgun. In 1964, 80 of the 120 murders were committed by pistol, shotgun, or rifle. Of these, 66 were by revolver.

Last year, 21 youths, 14 to 26 years of age, committed murders while in possession of various types of firearms. One was a double shotgun murder of his parents by a 15-year-old youth. During interrogation of the murder defendants, many stated that they had purchased the murder weapon in a tavern or from some unknown person on the street. Others have said that they have obtained them in other States or that they have obtained them through mail order.

Obviously it is easy for them to get weapons.

Aggravated assaults are classified as index crimes. Out of 2,054 ag. gravated assaults last year, 432, or 21 percent involved assault with a gun.

I might add that we cleared 68.1 percent of the aggravated assaults involving the use of guns.

In 1964 a St. Louis police officer was shot and killed by a holdup

So far this year we had another police officer who was shot and seriously wounded just last May in a gun battle with holdup men who held up a jewelry store.

In both of these cases, in trying to check the guns back, it was determined that both of these people had not obtained these weapons through legal means.

It is difficult for me to pinpoint the seriousness of availability of firearms by mail order or other sources. But I do know that any individual, whether he be adult or juvenile, who wishes to avail himself of the use of a gun can do so.

There is no question in my mind that the availability of firearms is a contributing cause to crime in St. Louis. I mentioned earlier that we were getting in our crime laboratory at the rate of one a day these .22-caliber German revolvers. There is no doubt that these are from a mail-order house.

The provision in Senate bill No. 1592 stating that no one except a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer can transport, ship, or receive firearms in interstate commerce, can make it more difficult


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to obtain weapons. The license fees will prevent many individuals from opening shop.

The requirement that no firearms can be sold to a business or individual who is not a resident of the State, or without checking to ascertain that he is not a felon or fugitive, or has a criminal record, will help make our job easier in tracing firearms. This requirement will enable us to more easily pinpoint, through dealers and such, the owner of a particular make of weapon. These records would be valuable to us in our work.

As a border city, as St. Louis is, many guns come into Missouri from other States. This of course increases our problem, and many persons under questioning admit they obtained the guns elsewhere.

So, as I mentioned earlier, in this battle against crime, the police officer certainly needs all of the support that he can possibly get, and any restrictions which can be imposed legislatively upon helping to prevent the person with criminal intent from obtaining firearms, especially small handguns, with which to hold up people and assault people, we certainly would appreciate that very much.

Senator Dodd. Well, we thank you, Chief, for your testimony. You are an outstanding law-enforcement officer in this country. You certainly know what is going on in St. Louis.

Obviously, no matter how good your regulations are with respect to firearms, if people can buy them from mail order, your law-enforcement task is much greater. You do not know about the individual who gets a gun through the mail order, do you?

Mr. BROSTRON. That is true.

Senator DODD. So I take it that the mail-order gun business does present a problem in St. Louis, as it appears to do everywhere else in the country.

Mr. BROSTRON. It does, Senator.

Senator Dodd. Do you think if this bill were enacted into law you could implement and enforce your own laws more effectively than at the present time?

Mr. BROSTRON. I think any restriction would be helpful, Senator.

We, of course, as I mentioned, in arresting suspects who are carrying arms on their person-if the search is not legal, of course the case will not stand in court. And it is true that we bring many of these people in, and their weapons go into our crime laboratory for testing with bullets in fatal cases. But the person is free to go right back on the streets, and if he is able to obtain another firearm—he cannot get his weapon back from us unless he replevins it, and they cannot replevin it if they cannot show legal ownership or proper registration.

Senator Dodd. Naturally, the figures show that rifles and shotguns account for about 30 percent of the murders by firearms.

Do you have any figures with respect to St. Louis ?

Mr. BROSTRON. I think our figure runs a little less than that. It would run about 17.5 percent.

Senator Dodd. They vary somewhat across the country. But it is about 30 percent nationwide.

This is why I have been insisting that the shotguns and rifles are a problem, whereas some people who oppose the bill say it is no problem at all—that they only account for 30 percent of the murders. I ask

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them how high you want to go-what do we have to do to demonstrate this is a real problem.

Thirty percent of all the murders in this country is a substantial figure, it seems to me.

Mr. BROSTRON. It is certainly something to be reckoned with.

Senator Dopp. Maybe they would be satisfied with 31 percent, I do not know.

Senator DODD. Mr. Perian. Mr. PERIAN. Mr. Jacobsmeyer, could you briefly describe to the committee

Senator BURDICK. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question?
Senator Dodd. Yes, I am sorry.
Senator BURDICK. Do


have an ordinance or any kind of a reg. ulation in St. Louis covering the sale of firearms? Mr. BROSTRON. Yes, sir, Senator; we do have. We have a State statue

a requiring the registration of firearms, especially handguns, and a person, a law-abiding citizen, must go to the sheriff of the city of St. Louis, and get a certificate of good citizenship. He applies for this. He receives a letter from business people to take with him. The sheriff does a check of the police records at the police department. If the man has a clear record, he is issued the authorization to purchase a firearm. And this is from a regular licensed dealer.

He makes his purchase. The dealer places the number of the firearm on the certificate. The purchaser takes it back to the circuit clerk where it is registered. He has conformed with the law.

Now then, of course we have statutes covering not only assault, but flourishing a dangerous and deadly weapon, and all that sort of thing. We also have city ordinances covering the same subject matter.

But people carrying about the streets weapons in their pockets and committing crimes with them—the law regulating that is carrying a concealed weapon. And on that we only make-can only carry through a successful prosecution if our search is legal, and in most of the cases if you stop someone on the street whose description might answer the description of someone who has just committed a robbery, this would hardly be sufficient to deem this as a legal search.

So in many of those cases, there is no prosecution.

Senator BURDICK. I understand then the city of St. Louis has a statute that requires you to go through a certain process before you can buy at least a handgun.

Mr. BROSTRON. Right, sir.

Senator BURDICK. Is that required to buy a .22 or 16-gage shotgun—something like that?

Mr. BROSTRON. I am not certain on that. I do not think so. I think for the responsible people in the sporting field, or in gun clubs, or things like that I am not certain on that. I am concerned with the

small gun.

Senator BURDICK. I have heard other witnesses testify that these ordinances apply only to the handgun.

Mr. BROSTRON. In the main, they do.

Senator BURDICK. I also noticed here out of 658 prosecutions for having concealed weapons, 12 of them included .22 rifles.

Mr. BROSTRON. Yes, sir.
Senator BURDICK. That is a pretty small percentage of all weapons.

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