An effort to make it a state crime for people recently convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense to have a firearm has stalled in the Kansas Senate.
The bill passed the House last month on a 120-0 vote and looked to be on the fast track to Gov. Jeff Colyer’s desk. But it was then amended by a Senate committee before being sent to the floor last week.
“I’m horrified and I think leadership was too,” said Sen. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican who supported the version that passed the House.
A leading Republican in the Kansas Senate said Thursday that he was “just letting it sit there for a while.”
Never miss a local story.
"Everybody wants the foundation bill, but I don't want any more amendments on it," said Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, an Overland Park Republican.
The legislation comes amid continued scrutiny over guns in the wake of the mass shooting last month in Parkland, Fla.
The bill, as it passed the House, would make it a crime under Kansas law for a person to possess a firearm if they were convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense within the last five years. State law currently bans people convicted of a felony domestic violence offense from keeping a gun, according to the revisor's office.
It also would make having a gun a crime for fugitives, someone in the country illegally and people subject to certain protection orders.
The Kansas measure was written to parallel federal law. In Missouri, lawmakers have considered a similar measure.
But the Kansas bill stalled after changes were made by the Senate’s Federal and State Affairs Committee. Republicans on the committee amended language on silencers and throwing stars.
Under the Senate version, instead of it being a crime to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess a throwing star, it would only be a crime to possess a throwing star if it was meant to be used unlawfully against another person.
Another change made by the committee would make it legal for people in Kansas to possess a silencer if it is made in Kansas under certain stipulations.
"The underlying bill is good," said Sen. Ty Masterson, the Andover Republican who made the throwing star amendment. "This just solves another problem all in the same time. So, if you're saying solving more problems is better, yes, it's better."
Jo Ella Hoye, a leader with the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said she still supports the bill, even after the amendments.
"Women and families across Kansas will be safer the day this bill takes effect," she said in an email. "...There is no good reason not to act quickly and get this bill to Governor Colyer’s desk."