Representative to propose tougher gun restrictions for domestic abusers

A state House Republican plans to propose tougher Missouri gun laws for those with a history of domestic violence.

Representative Donna Lichtenegger (photo; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)
Representative Donna Lichtenegger (photo; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Donna Lichtenegger (R-Cape Girardeau) will propose mirroring Missouri law to a 1997 federal restriction on the ownership, possession, purchase, or sale of firearms by those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors or who have orders of protection against them.  Missouri remains one of the states that have not adopted the same law, meaning only federal agents and courts can pursue cases regarding the federal law.

Missourians who were found guilty of a domestic violence misdemeanor or were the subject of an order of protection were to be denied concealed carry permits under the state’s original CCW law.  That prohibition was nullified after the legislature overturned the veto of SB 656, allowing anyone who can legally carry a gun to carry one concealed without getting a permit.

Lichtenegger expects her proposal will have support among her fellow Republicans’ supermajority.

“Under the circumstances of what I’m talking about and the fact that NRA is willing to help me … I’m not changing the gun bill at all,” said Lichtenegger.  “All I’m doing is taking the state law and matching it with the federal law as far as domestic violence goes just to give the people who are being hurt more coverage.”

Lichtenegger is pursuing the issue in part because of her own experience with domestic violence committed by her father when she was a child.

“My father was a violent alcoholic,” said Lichtenegger.  “Believe it or not, in his lawyer’s office he threatened to throw acid in my face and my brother’s face … when I was four years old I vividly remember my father abusing my mother.”

“I wanna make sure that these women and men who are hurt get their day in court without the fear that they’re going to be hurt more,” said Lichtenegger.

Lichtenegger said she is still developing language for a bill for the session that begins January 4, and said it could also deal in some way with those suffering from mental health issues.