The Kansas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement applauding the introduction and urging swift passage of HB 2251/SB 192, legislation to require domestic abusers to relinquish their firearms and strengthen the law enacted in 2018 prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing guns.
“In Kansas, we can all agree that domestic abusers should not have access to guns,” said Colleen Cunningham, volunteer with the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “In 2018, Kansas legislators voted nearly unanimously to pass a bill to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, but that law doesn’t require abusers to turn in the guns they may already have. It’s time to close this loophole in Kansas law and help ensure that no prohibited domestic abusers have easy access to firearms.”
“A domestic abuser’s access to a gun ended my daughter’s life and changed mine and her children’s lives forever,” said LaTonya Boyd, a volunteer with the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action and member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose daughter, Tyesha, was shot and killed by her ex-partner in 2009. “It’s time for Kansas lawmakers to take the next step to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers by ensuring they can’t keep the guns they may already have. Women and families, like my daughter Tyesha, deserve our protection.”
In 2018, a bill to prohibit domestic abusers from possessing guns was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed into law by then-Governor Jeff Colyer. However, Kansas law doesn’t require prohibited domestic abusers to turn in the guns they may already have. Adding a process for abusers to relinquish any firearms they already possess would give law enforcement officers the tools they need to ensure domestic abusers in Kansas don’t have easy access to guns.
Every month, an average of 53 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner in the U.S. Between 2015 and 2019, at least 157 people were killed in domestic violence homicides in Kansas. Access to a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely a woman will be killed and nearly three out of every five domestic violence homicides in Kansas involved a firearm. Additionally, women of color are victims of homicide at higher rates than white women, and over 55 percent of these killings are committed by an intimate partner — including LaToyna Boyd’s daughter Tyesha, who was shot and killed by an abusive partner.
Statistics about gun violence in Kansas are available here, and information on how Kansas’ gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.