Bi-state push to restrict abusers access to guns - KCTV5

Bi-state push to restrict abusers access to guns

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TOPEKA, KS (KCTV) -

Lawmakers in both Kansas and Missouri are pushing bi-state efforts to stop those convicted of domestic violence from possessing a firearm.

In Kansas, Rep. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, has sponsored the legislation. In Missouri, Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, has authored the bill. The two will hold a news conference to discuss the proposed legislation at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the office of Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

Newman's proposal would allow law enforcement representatives and family members to get a court order to restrict those in crisis from gun possession. Her bill is similar to legislation passed into law in California after the University of California Santa Barbara mass shooting.

Both lawmakers are founding members of the American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention. The organization is made up of more than 200 lawmakers across the country. The members represent both major political parties.

Bollier said this is not an anti-gun bill, but a proposal that could better gun policy.

"Studies show in cities that have had this type of restraining order in place, when you remove the guns, the violence significantly decreases," she said.

Jan Helfer, whose friend, Debra Beaver, was killed by her husband, Barry, supports the legislation. She said restraining orders like what the stalking protection order that Debra Beaver had have their limitations, and guns need to be taken away.

"A restraining order, I think, is a great thing and a great idea. But it's also a piece of paper. And so it depends on that other person who has to abide by it much more than it does the person who sought it in the first place," Helfer said.

She said her dear friend would support the efforts.

"As the sweet person she was, she wouldn't want this to happen to absolutely anybody else," Helfer said.

Newman's bill also would allow police to remove a gun from the scene if domestic assault is suspected.

The firearm owner could take back the weapon within two weeks of any proceedings related to a suspected assault.

Police would be required to safely store the firearm during that time.

This is the seventh year that Newman has proposed the bill, and said it's a challenge to get her bill heard by the Republican-controlled House. Click here to read her bill. Bollier also expects pushback from conservatives in the Kansas Legislature.

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