Blair's Law rally in South KC

Posted at 2:08 PM, Mar 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-24 18:42:45-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The same day as the "March for our Lives" rally, gun reform issues heated up in South Kansas City.

Missouri Representative DaRon McGee (D) and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker rallied for Blair's Law.

Representative McGee explained he is reintroducing the legislation to the Missouri House. It's named for 11-year-old Blair Shanahan Lane who died when she was hit by a stray bullet July 4, 2011.

Seven years later, it's something people in South Kansas City say they are still experiencing.

"One Fourth of July they went inside the house with people there and all shot in the floor," explained Calvin Hodges, referring to a gathering at a neighbor's house.

Dale Johnson saw the same scenario and calls the behavior "reckless." 

"He was shooting his pistol into the ground and there were toddlers walking around in the area at the same time," said Dale Johnson, who lives on the same street as Hodges.

However, right now the legal system is tied with what it can do.  

In Kansas City celebratory gunfire is a city offense. It can draw felony charges depending on the property damage.

"We have to have adequate tools in the tool box for me to address that behavior," explained prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

Blair's Law would make gunfire within the city limits a felony, with the exclusion of self-defense or firing at a gun range.

"The bullet came down and struck her in the head. Because of that decision Blair is not going to college. She lost her life," said Rep. McGee.

McGee said if this bills pass it will save lives.

"Are we brave enough to talk about ways to reduce gun violence. And could we do it by talking about guns?," said Peters Baker.

The bill will go through the General Laws House Committee on Tuesday.

If its passed, it will go before the entire House and then be voted on by the Senate.  The governor would still need to sign it into law.

In previous sessions, Blair's Law has never made it out of a committee.