KC Council members take action to keep kids from carrying guns

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A city committee unanimously approved two ordinances Wednesday in response to growing gun violence. Both proposals target juveniles with handguns.

Seven homicides in the last 72 hours in part prompted council members to take action on Mayor Quinton Lucas' proposals to get guns out of the hands of children.

The first ordinance makes it a crime for minors to possess firearms, allowing police to seize guns and divert the teens into services that may help prevent them from becoming criminals.

The second ordinance would punish with six months in jail and a $500 fine adults who recklessly give, sell or provide firearms to juveniles without their parents permission .

The mayor calls this a first step, and just one more tool in the tool box to combat gun violence.

"Right now if there’s an 18 year old who’s drinking beer on the weekend we can both get the beer out of their hands and then make them go through some level of counseling services," Mayor Lucas said. "That happens every day in Kansas City and jurisdictions all around us. We are not currently able to do that with somebody carrying around a gun."

To be consistent with federal and state laws, the city had to include exceptions to the minor in possession ban.

One of the big exceptions is that Missouri allows juveniles who have permission from their parents, to carry firearms.

The ordinances include $100,000 in city taxpayer money to fund a diversion program through the municipal court to help put kids on a law abiding path in their lives.

The mayor concedes it may not be enough funding, but it's a start.

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