Advocates for victims of domestic violence hope the legislature will pass a bill meant to keep people who have committed domestic violence from having guns.
The bill offered by Representative Stacey Newman (D-St. Louis) would make it illegal for a person to have a gun if he or she is the subject of a court order against stalking, harassment, or threatening harm to a member of his or her household or family, if that order finds that there is a credible threat to those family or household members or prohibits aggression against them. It would also make illegal the possession of a gun by anyone who is the subject of a protection order or is guilty of domestic violence or a sexual offense.
Colleen Coble with the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says that would mirror federal law.
“That has been an area of bipartisan agreement that is a sensible restriction,” Coble told Missourinet. “We’re talking about those who have already committed acts of violence and have been found by the courts to have harmed their family members.”
She says the idea could pass even in a Republican-controlled legislature. It did pass the state House in 2014 as part of a larger gun bill that died in the Senate.
“There’s already been a showing of support for this sensible approach to keeping those who have already been victims of violence safe from those who have already harmed them and possess weapons,” said Coble.
She said though federal law already contains such a provision, only federal agents can enforce it in Missouri.
“That’s just not a practical response to keeping Missouri families safe that have already been harmed,” said Coble.
Last year Newman’s bill did not receive a hearing in the House.
The legislation is HB 1595.