Lewis Diuguid

New push in Kansas to expand background checks on gun sales

The Kansas City Star

Pro-gun lawmakers in Kansas will have to contend with a bill this year that calls for an extension of background checks on firearms sales.

Democratic Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau of Wichita on Wednesday introduced the bill in the Kansas Legislature. It would require that background checks on gun buyers include sales of privately owned firearms at gun shows and over the Internet.

The Northeast Kansas Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is behind the effort for stricter gun control.

It follows years of efforts nationwide of pro-gun groups to liberalize laws involving firearms. That push gained momentum after the Dec. 14, 2012, mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were slain.

National polls indicate that the majority of Americans favor expanded background checks. The fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary outraged people and made it seem that expanding gun control would be possible. But just the opposite happened throughout most of the U.S.

People prohibited by federal law from having firearms are felons, domestic abusers, people who renounce their U.S. citizenship and some persons with serious mental health concerns. The current background checks system went into effect in 1994.

Since then more than 2.1 million gun sales to prohibited buyers have been stopped. “Background checks work, and extending the checks will make the system work even better,” Loren Stanton, Brady chapter president said in a prepared release.

The bill in Kansas is expected to encounter enormous resistance.