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Federal lawmakers representing KC area offer solutions to prevent another school shooting

Hawley, Cleaver
Posted at 5:43 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 19:20:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — KSHB 41 News is focusing on potential solutions that could prevent another school shooting from happening. The I-Team contacted every member of Congress that represents the Kansas City area.

We honed in on two questions:

  • What solutions do you believe are necessary for the country to move forward?
  • What specific gun reform laws would you support, if any?

Below are the responses we received:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri)

The loss of life in Uvalde, Texas is heartbreaking. As parents, Erin and I stand in prayer with those who have suffered the unimaginable, the loss of a child. As a public official, I believe the time has come to increase penalties for violent crimes and crimes committed with firearms. We must also fully fund our police and local law enforcement and give them the resources they need to keep our kids safe.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)

“No family should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to a horrific act of violence. As we learn more about the facts in this case, I’m open to looking at what we can do, in a bipartisan way, to prevent another tragedy like this from occurring. That might include the possibility of a red flag law to keep weapons out of the hands of people who pose an imminent threat to themselves or others. I have previously supported legislation that was signed into law to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. As the Republican leader on the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, I have worked with my colleagues to provide significant funding increases to enhance school safety and expand access to mental health support and research into gun violence. I’ve also worked with Senator Stabenow to create and expand the Excellence in Mental Health Program to increase mental health access and provide tools to crisis intervention officers. We need to continue working to ensure anyone who has a mental or behavioral health issue can get the treatment they need, when they need it.”

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Kansas City)

“I believe there are several common sense steps Congress and state legislatures should take to address the scourge of gun violence plaguing communities across the country, including mass shootings in schools, churches, and other communal spaces. 

The first and most obvious step is to enact universal background checks for all gun sales—a proposal that is supported by more than 95% of Americans. 

Additionally, I’ve called for the enactment of Red Flag laws, which would help to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, and individuals with a history of mental illness. I’m pleased that when the House of Representatives returns to session, we will vote on a federal Red Flag law introduced by Rep. McBath, a bill that I have cosponsored.

I’ve called for a ban on assault weapons, like the one that was enacted in 1994-2004, and the regulation of Ghost Guns, which are becoming more and more prevalent among criminals across the country. 

I’ve called for gun safety storage reforms to protect children by ensuring gun owners are responsibly caring for their firearms.

Gun violence is an epidemic that must be addressed, so I would certainly be open to discussions on other solutions as well—but these are all common sense steps that almost every other developed country has taken with remarkably positive results. While I’d like to see them all passed, I would appreciate if 10 Republicans in the Senate would take action to at least allow us to pass one into law. Unfortunately, Republicans in the Senate are unanimously opposed to any and all reforms.”

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville)

No response given at this time.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Tarkio)

No response given at this time.

Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas City, Kansas)

No response given at this time.

Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Topeka)

No response given at this time.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas)

Sen. Moran's office provided his opening statement and questions to FBI Director Wray at a subcommittee hearing in response to our questions.

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas)

“What happened in Uvalde is a horrific tragedy, and I condemn all violence. I’m personally devastated to hear of the young lives lost and I will mourn for the loss of these precious lives and mourn with all the families going through this incredibly difficult time. Law enforcement officials in Texas are working around the clock to get to the bottom of this tragedy. They have my full support as they investigate this evil attack and gather all the facts.”

Senator Marshall's office told KSHB 41 he supported the STOP School Violence Act. They added that the senator would like to see more funding to "help harden more schools" in Kansas.

Marshall also supported the Fix NICS Act. Both bills were signed into law.

Senator Marshall's office said he has introduced a bill encouraging responsible gun ownership. His legislation would offer tax incentives to those who "take firearm safety courses and invest in securing their firearms."

If we receive more responses, we will update this story.