Mission Hills Rep. Barbara Bollier among inaugural gathering of American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention

Barbara Bollier 2014State Rep. Barbara Bollier, whose district includes parts of Mission Hills, Prairie Village, Leawood and Overland Park, on Tuesday took part in the inaugural meeting of American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, a new organization focused on strategies for passing meaningful violence prevention legislation.

Bollier was asked by group chair and founder Brian Kavanagh, a member of the New York State Assembly, to participate after being recommended by Missouri Rep. Stacey Newman, a friend of Bollier’s who represents a part of suburban St. Louis and has become a vocal advocate for gun violence prevention.

Bollier said the group’s first meeting, held in Washington, D.C., centered on legislators sharing experiences with violence prevention measures in their states. She emphasized that the group had “no desire to take away gun rights,” but that there were policy proposals like background checks that had broad public support.

“Common sense gun legislation makes sense for this country,” she said. “And the people are crying out for it. Maybe not the legislators who are in control. But the people support this — including NRA members. They believe that background checks are reasonable law.”

Approximately 50 people from across the country attended the meeting. Future meetings will likely coincide with gatherings of the National Conference of State Legislatures or the Council of State Governments.

Bollier said the group was not interested in seeing the same bills passed in every state across the country. Instead, she said, they want to help find legislation that makes sense for each individual state.

“We need to be moving forward with background check legislation in Kansas,” Bollier said. “We now have a law that says you are allowed to open carry in every city in the state. We need to honor our citizens and make sure they are safe if guns are allowed everywhere.”