Topeka The so-called “Bloomberg Bill,” aimed at keeping some gun investigations conducted by other states out of Kansas, failed to make it out of the Kansas House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee on Tuesday.
The bill was introduced after Kansas gun sellers were among 77 online dealers caught up in a sting conducted by private investigators working for the city of New York. Investigators posed as buyers who couldn’t pass a background check, making the sale potentially illegal.
Rep. Jim Kelly, R-Independence, wanted to keep similar investigations out of Kansas and introduced legislation in January that would make them a felony. But the committee failed to pass the bill.
“I think the committee has said it doesn’t want to make this public policy,” said Committee Chairwoman Rep. Pat Colloton, R-Leawood.
Reps. Ward Cassidy, R-St. Francis, Jana Goodman, R-Leavenworth, and Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, voted to pass the bill, which would not have applied to law enforcement investigations. But other representatives questioned it.
“Just on the face of it, it seems upside down to penalize people who are trying to find people doing wrong,” said Rep. Tom Moxley, R-Council Grove.
In 2011, “Point, Click, Fire,” sponsored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, targeted 125 private dealers in 14 different states. During the investigation, five guns were actually purchased.
Private dealers are not required to conduct background checks but cannot sell guns to buyers if the dealer has reason to believe the buyer is prohibited from purchasing one. According to the study, four dealers in Kansas were contacted, and two agreed to sell firearms.