As the Kansas City Star noted in an editorial Monday, lawmakers in both Kansas and Missouri have real opportunities this session to pass meaningful legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
In Kansas, the House of Representatives has already passed House Bill 2145, a bill that would close gaps in Kansas law and help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, with a 120-0 vote. Most states have laws that prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes, and people subject to domestic violence protection orders, from having guns. Kansas currently has neither. House Bill 2145 would prohibit gun possession by convicted domestic abusers and by domestic abusers who are subject to active protection orders.
In Missouri, both HB 2276 and HB 1849 would give state law enforcement important tools to keep guns away from domestic abusers by creating a state prohibition on firearm possession for people who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and those subject to active domestic violence protection orders.
In both states, voters are showing up to make it clear to their elected officials that they’re paying attention. Just yesterday, more than 300 Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America volunteers from across Missouri gathered at the State Capitol in Jefferson City, where they met with lawmakers, urging them to reject dangerous bills that roll back Missouri gun laws and to instead work to pass HB 2276 and HB 1849.
The advocacy day in Missouri saw a dramatic increase in turnout from last year’s event – when around 170 people attended – showing the growing gun violence prevention movement in Missouri. It came the week after dozens of gun safety volunteers gathered in Topeka for a Kansas advocacy day covered by Columbia Missourian, St. Louis Public Radio and KTVI in St. Louis, among other outlets.
It came the week after dozens of gun safety volunteers gathered in Topeka for a Kansas advocacy day that also saw a substantial increase in volunteers attending compared with the same event in 2017.
A week after the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, gun safety advocates in both states are making clear to their lawmakers that the gun violence prevention movement in strong in Kansas and Missouri – and that voters want action from their lawmakers to protect women and families.
For more information about the pending legislation and growing calls for gun safety legislation in each state, please don’t hesitate to reach out.