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ICYMI: Kansas Senate Facing Questions About Lack of Progress on Domestic Violence Bill

March 9, 2018

I wanted to make sure you saw the Kansas City Star’s reporting about a concerning development regarding bipartisan legislation to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

In early February, the Kansas House voted 120-0 to pass HB 2145, which would add Kansas to a list of more than two dozen states that have acted in recent years to protect women and families by prohibiting domestic abusers from having guns.

But after the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs advanced an amended version earlier this week, there is apparently no action scheduled to send this bill to the governor’s desk, the Star’s Hunter Woodall reports.

This important story has already attracted national coverage today.

After the Senate committee’s hearing this week, the Topeka Capital-Journal’s editorial advisory board highlighted the domestic violence legislation in an editorial discussing several gun bills under consideration.

“That reform passed 120-0 in the House and deserves similar support from the Senate, as well as a signature from Gov. Jeff Colyer adopting the measure into law,” the board wrote. “Too many have died as the result of homicides stemming from domestic violence. The use of firearms was prominent in those deaths.”

Also this week, the Capital-Journal published a powerful op-ed from Tonya Boyd, whose daughter Tyesha was shot and killed by the father of her children.

“It’s too late to save Tyesha’s life, but our leaders have the opportunity to save other lives here in Kansas,” Boyd writes. “The Kansans I know believe we should do more to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and I ask our state senators to show they do, too.”

Federal law already prohibits most domestic abusers from having guns. But without a similar state-level law, Kansas law enforcement cannot take meaningful action to protect women and families from abusers with guns.

Most states have laws prohibiting domestic abusers from having guns, but Kansas does not. HB 2145 would prohibit gun possession by domestic abusers and enable Kansas law enforcement officers to better protect women and families. It has strong support from Kansas law enforcement.

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