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Missouri lawmakers working to keep guns out of abusers' hands

Posted at 4:19 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 17:40:29-05

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Missouri lawmakers are working on bills that would keep guns out of the hands of abusers. 

Representatives Donna Lichtenegger, R-Cape Girardeau, and Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis, are sponsoring bills that would close a legal loophole that makes it easier for domestic abusers to have guns. 

The loophole was created by legislators in 2016 with House Bill 656, when lawmakers took out protection for domestic violence victims. 

House Bills 2276 and 1849 would make Missouri's law match current Federal law. Local law enforcement would then be able to take weapons away from people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions. 

"The goal has been to get those protections into state law so that women are not being killed in our state," said Mary Anne Metheny, CEO of Hope House. 

Hope House is just one emergency domestic violence shelter in the Kansas City metro area in support of the change. 

"What we're hoping for, what we've been asking for, is the conversation to be around how do we protect domestic violence survivors? How can we ensure that they are not being killed," said Metheny. 

The bills were presented together for a second hearing Tuesday night. This is the second year lawmakers are working on bills like this, after lawmakers overrode former Governor Jay Nixon's veto and legalized concealed carry without a permit in 2016. 

Metheny said, "It's not about, let's take guns away from people. It's about ensuring that people who are not supposed to have guns in the first place don't get their hands on guns." 

Metheny believes if lawmakers can remove guns from the hands of abusers, violence in the country would decrease.