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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • County attorney helps introduce proposed laws

  • The Leavenworth County attorney has helped to introduce two bills that are before the Kansas Legislature, seeking the passage of new drug and firearms provisions.
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  • The Leavenworth County attorney has helped to introduce two bills that are before the Kansas Legislature, seeking the passage of new drug and firearms provisions.
    One of the proposed laws would make it illegal for people to possess prescription drugs if they don’t have prescriptions for the medication.
    “I was the one who wrote and proposed it,” County Attorney Todd Thompson said.
    He said he introduced it in conjunction with the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association.
    The bill, Senate Bill No. 39, is before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to status information on the state’s Legislature website.
    Right now, only “scheduled drugs” are illegal. Thompson said scheduled drug is a legal term for a drug believed to be addictive.
    He said abuse of prescription drugs is a problem. He said young people have what are called “pharm” parties in which they consume as many prescription pills as they can just to see what the affects are.
    He said these pills, which may be taken from family members, often are consumed with alcohol.
    Thompson said the proposed law includes an exception for a person who has permission from the prescription holder to be in possession of a drug. He said this would allow a person to pick up a prescription on someone’s behalf.
    A second piece of proposed legislation that Thompson helped craft is before the House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice, according to information on the state’s Legislature website.
    This bill, House Bill No. No. 2278, would make it a felony to steal a firearm. Criminal deprivation of a firearm also would be a felony.
    Currently, the value of a stolen item determines whether its theft is a felony. If an item is worth less than $1,000, the theft would be a misdemeanor, Thompson said.
    The law also would make burglary for the purpose of stealing a firearm what is known as a “person felony,” which can result in a harsher penalty.
    Thompson said he introduced the proposed legislation with the assistance of Rep. Melanie Meier, whose district is in Leavenworth.
    The county attorney said he created a draft of the idea before revisers worked on the bill.
    Thompson said the idea was proposed after he discussed issues about firearms with Lansing’s police chief.
    Thompson said no one can argue firearms in the wrong hands are dangerous. He said the proposed measure is intended to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.
    “This is something that other states have already seen the need for,” he said.
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