Voters debate Pit bull ban in Independence

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (KCTV) - The future of a ban on Pit bulls in Independence may fall into hands of voters to decide.

The Independence city council meeting tonight was filled with a sea of red, but this time it wasn’t for the Kansas City Chiefs. Instead, it was in support of ending the city’s current Pit bull ban.

“There is no reason to remove these animals from their loving homes while they are causing no problems,” said a speaker at the podium during public comment.

Back in 2006 the city of Independence implemented the ban against the breed after several attacks involving Pit bulls, a move some are in support of.

“I can stand here all day and show you these horrifying pictures of children mauled by these bully breeds,” said another person at the podium.

Over the years, a number of cities in the metro have lifted their ban on Pit bulls.

Most recently, the Excelsior Springs council voted in favor of repealing their ban.

In the past, the Independence city council has looked into the ban. However, it remains in place.

“It’s not enforced,” said Miriam Keith. “We have more Pit bulls today in Independence than when the ban was put into place, and it’s selectively enforced even at that.”

Keith spoke before the council not only in support of Pit bulls but to make the city aware that the community is forming a petition for voters to sign during the April 4 general municipal election.

“I think, overall, the number of people in Independence that would rather see the ban overturned are greater than those that would not,” said Keith.

If they get enough signatures, it will either force the city council to vote on the ban or be placed on an upcoming ballot, which the mayor of Independence said he prefers.

“I suspect it will probably go to the ballot but that’s still to be seen,” said Mayor Rory Rowland.