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Recent Kansas City-area violence spurs up discussion of Blair's Law

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Posted at 10:17 PM, Nov 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-14 06:25:24-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Last legislative session, lawmakers worked to pass Blair’s Law, which would make it a Missouri statewide offense for discharging a firearm into or within city limits.

In south Kansas City, you’ll hear it’s a priority to do so, too.

On Monday, many who showed up to a South KC Alliance meeting heard Missouri legislators talk about their priorities, many of whom brought up Blair’s law.

“This is my fifth year sponsoring Blair’s Law bill; I have republican legislators who are filing it, I have senators on both sides of the aisle filing it,” Missouri Rep. Mark Sharp said.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson recently vetoed the omnibus that included Blair’s Law. He later expressed support individually for Blair’s Law.

Sharp said doing so could have impacted a recent shooting that left 11-year-old Lauren Reddick paralyzed.

“We had a little girl, I think — 11 years old, the same age as Blair’s Law — who was hit and paralyzed by two straight bullets recently," Sharp said. "So that shows you the need; we need to pass this bill."

Some south Kansas city residents at the meeting just lived through that.

Johnnie Wilson lives in Reddick’s neighborhood where the shooting happened.

“It’s been very difficult to hear an 11-year-old girl was shot twice and paralyzed; we’ve been trying to get Blair’s Law approved, and we hope that the governor can get that approved," Wilson said. "So we can get rid of the senseless shootings and killings and paralysis of our youth."

The legislators in attendance say it might be the only bill dealing with guns that everyone can agree on.

“We have full support in the house; Blair’s Law has been passed in the house almost 10 times now," Sharp said.

Johnnie Wilson hopes its anticipated passage sends a message that’s heard throughout his neighborhood.

“I think it would send a message that there are consequences for those actions when you shoot those guns in the air or stray bullets into people's homes; hopefully it would minimize that activity,” he said.