KC rep. proposes ‘Blair’s Law’ to curb reckless handgun fire
Missouri House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. –
The death of a Kansas City girl last Fourth of July could be a catalyst for changing the state’s gun laws.
Wednesday, State House Minority Leader Mike Talboy introduced a bill that would make it a felony to negligently discharge
a firearm within the limits of any municipality in the state of Missouri.
The bill is in response to the death of 11-year-old
Blair Shanahan Lane, who was killed by a stray bullet that was recklessly discharged as part of a Fourth of July celebration
last year. House Bill 1686, known as Blair’s Law, would not criminalize the lawful discharge of a weapon, such as in
self defense or on a supervised firing range.
“Police throughout Missouri for decades have warned of the potentially
deadly consequences of celebratory gunfire, but some people still don’t listen,” Talboy said in a written statement.
Blair was dancing with friends and family at a Forth of July celebration when she was suddenly struck in the neck by a
bullet discharged from a 9 mm Glock. The shot came from a group of men firing the gun into a pond more than 1,100 feet away.
The shooter was sentenced to three year’s in prison for involuntary manslaughter, but Talboy said there should be
tougher laws to cover the reckless discharge of weapons in populated areas.
Kansas City has an existing ordinance that
makes firing a weapon a violation with a sentence of up to 180 days, but Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said
the current law does not send a strong enough message and that only a state law would have the necessary impact.