KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mayor Quinton Lucas wants to prohibit accused domestic violence offenders from carrying guns.
After implementing a similar measure banning minors from having guns, Lucas believes his latest proposal to restrict firearms will save hundreds of lives.
Similarly the ordinances involving minors, this is another example of a federal law that's already on the books but simply isn't being enforced on the local level. Federal prosecutors rarely pursue these cases since they are relatively minor to other cases.
If approved by the city council, anyone who has been convicted of a domestic violence crime, misdemeanor or felony, would not be allowed to have a gun in Kansas City.
The mayor's proposal goes one step further, saying those with a full order of protection issued against them by a court also could not have firearms within the city limits. The new law would enable police to seize guns and arrest those who have a criminal history or have a restraining order against them.
"We need to get guns out of the hands of people who aren’t supposed to have them," Lucas said. "Someone who has committed acts of violence against their intimate partner has been shown in a number of different situations to be a greater threat to re-offend and be greater threats to kill their partners."
The mayor said the municipal court docket already is crowded with domestic violence suspects. However, domestic violence offenders who should be behind bars are often released because Kansas City can't put its prisoners in the Jackson County jail.
That will remain the case, even if this proposal is adopted.
Lucas said, despite this, his ordinance will still save lives by seizing firearms. That alone greatly diminishes the risk of victims getting killed, victim advocates said.
Lucas said he's meeting with Sheriff Darryl Forté Thursday and will ask if Kansas City can put its prisoners back in the jail. The mayor said he'd love to be able to announce that more domestic violence offenders will stay behind bars.