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Mayor Lucas optimistic new gun reform act will play role in preventing shootings in Kansas City

Lucas, KCPD chief in D.C. for gun reform event
Mayor Lucas in DC for gun reform
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 17:26:56-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Could key components of the newly-enacted bi-partisan Safer Communities Act prevent shootings like the latest deadly shooting in Westport on Sunday night?

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas seems to be optimistic that it will.

Lucas and KCPD interim police chief, Joseph Mabin, were in Washington D.C. Monday for an event celebrating the signing of the Safer Communities Act.

"You're going to see enhanced registration requirements for firearms, so that at least fewer guns, like ghost guns, are able to get on the streets of Kansas City," Lucas told KSHB 41 News.

Lucas called it the first piece of "good gun reform legislation we've seen in three decades."

Investigators haven't released any information about the suspect in the Westport shooting on Sunday that left one dead and five hurt, but part of a shooting investigation looks into how the person got the gun - legally or illegally.

"Right now, there are a lot of people in Kansas city who have guns who shouldn't have them," Lucas said. "And that's not saying there's anything wrong with lawful gun owners, but there are people coming to bars solving fights with their firearms each and every night and manage to get them without any concern."

He pointed out that there were off-duty police officers and security guards within feet of the shooting.

The Safer Communities Act implements enhanced background checks for people under 21.

It's supposed to clarify who can be a federally registered gun dealer who runs the background checks before selling a gun.

It makes gun trafficking and straw purchases a federal crime.

Missouri made straw purchases a crime in 2011, but Kansas doesn't have any such laws on the books.

If you've been convicted of domestic assault, you can't get a gun or own one for five years, partially closing the "boyfriend loophole."

The Safer Communities Act also supports states' red flag laws.

"It provides $750 million in crisis intervention and red flag laws," President Joe Biden said Monday. "So a parent, a teacher, a counselor, can flag for the court that a child, a student, a patient is exhibiting violent tendencies, threatening classmates or experiencing suicidal thoughts."

But, Missouri and Kansas don't have red flag laws and many local Republican lawmakers will not support them.

Missouri governor Mike Parson signed into law the Second Amendment Preservation Act that bans and penalizes state and local cooperation with federal officials in any way that could be deemed an infringement on Missourians' right to own guns.

It also bans registering and tracking any firearm someone purchases.

Data from the CDC says Missouri has the fourth highest firearm mortality rate in the country.

According to the national Gun Violence Archive website, 23,239 gun violence deaths have happened in 2022 so far, with a little less than half being murders and unintentional deaths.

This year has seen 330 mass shootings.

The number of teens age 12-17 killed by guns this year, 701, is nearly 19 times higher than the number of police officers who have been killed by a gun.

Mass shootings and gun deaths have gone up every year since 2014.

A spokesperson for KCPD said they all agree people who want to act dangerously with guns shouldn't have them and "there should be laws in place that ensure the police are able to protect the community who want to do harm with guns."

Here are other resources to find out about gun violence prevention and gun violence stats in the United States: