Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman wants gun buyers to comply with the same kind of restrictions faced by women who seek an abortion.
It is much easier to buy a gun in Missouri than it is to terminate a pregnancy, yet state lawmaker keep piling on layers of red tape when it comes to accessing an abortion, and streamlining the process when it comes to accessing a gun. However, a bill prefiled for the upcoming legislative session would change that.
Rep. Stacey Newman (that's her with gun control advocates Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly in the photo above) has combined two of her passions - women's reproduction rights and gun sanity - into a bill meant to tweak Republican lawmakers, especially male lawmakers. Rep. Newman filed her bill the day after a federal judge blocked Missouri from revoking the license of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, because no hospital would offer staff privileges to the Planned Parenthood physicians.
House Bill 1397 would require that anyone seeking to purchase a firearm must first maneuver through the same sort of obstacle course lawmakers require of women trying to obtain an abortion.
For instance, Missouri law requires a woman who asks for an abortion to submit to a 72-hour mandatory cooling off period. She must then confer with two physicians, sign an informed consent form, view an ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat. Because so many clinics have been closed, a woman seeking an abortion travels an average of 120 miles to a mandated ambulatory surgical center, even though most abortions are medical, not surgical, - requiring only that the patient take two pills, 24 hours apart.
HB 1397 would require gun buyers to maneuver a similar gauntlet:
- Observe a 72 hour cooling off period after their initial request to buy a gun.
- Confer with a physician about the risks of gun ownership including any physical, psychological, or situational factors, that may arise with the proposed firearm purchase.
- View a 30-minute video on fatal gun injuries and verify in writing that he viewed the entire video “in the presence of a licensed firearm dealer."
- Travel approximately 120 miles from the potential buyer's home to the point of sale.
Since most abortion seekers must sit through a session where religious anti-abortion types try to talk her out of ending her pregnancy, (lawmakers call this "informing her of her options,") Rep. Newman thinks gun buyers should likewise be informed about alternatives to buying a firearm, including "materials about peaceful and nonviolent conflict resolutions."
Under H.B. 1397, the gun buyer would also be required to verify in writing that he "has toured an emergency trauma center in the nearest qualified urban hospital on a weekend between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., when gun violence victims are present," and have that statement signed by a physician who witnesses the visit.
Since women are often forced to defend their decision to women who say they have been traumatized by having an abortion, the bill also requires:
"Within seventy-two hours of a firearm purchase, the prospective firearm purchaser shall meet with at least two families who have been victims of violence involving a firearm and two local faith leaders who have officiated, within the past year, a funeral of a victim of violence involving a firearm who was under the age of eighteen.
Rep. Newman, noting that St. Louis and Kansas City are among the top 10 cities in the country in per capita gun violence, said in a statement:
"So far in 2015, 13 toddlers have shot and killed themselves, 18 more injured themselves, 10 injured others and 2 toddlers shot and killed others. Missouri leads the country with 5 toddlers this year pulling a trigger on a gun.
"On the flip side, Missouri's Planned Parenthood witch hunt continues at full steam.
"Since Missouri holds the rank as one of the strictest abortion regulation states in the country, it is logical we borrow similar restrictions to lower our horrific gun violence rates."
We'll let you know how the Missouri legislature reacts to Rep. Newman's "Sauce for the Gander" bill.
Photo is from Rep. Newman's Facebook album