A firearms bill proposed by the Leavenworth County attorney now awaits the governor's signature after being passed unanimously by the Kansas Senate.
The bill, which would make it a felony to steal a firearm, passed in the Senate Wednesday. It was passed in the Kansas of House of Representatives March 1.
"I'm very pleased that it passed," Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said Wednesday.
Thompson, who wrote a draft of the bill and helped introduce it, is confident the bill will be signed into law by the governor.
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, under existing law, is a misdemeanor.
The bill, if it becomes law, will make the theft of a firearm as well as the criminal deprivation of a firearm a felony no matter the value. It also will increase the severity level of a burglary that's committed with the intent of stealing a firearm.
Thompson said the bill, which is called House Bill 2278, attacks the real issue of firearms — criminals who use them.
The county attorney said he introduced the proposed changes in the law with assistance from Rep. Melanie Meier, whose district is in Leavenworth.
The bill passed the House 117-4. It passed the Senate 40-0.
Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, who represents Leavenworth and Lansing, called the bill a "common sense" measure. He said it is an example of lawmakers cooperating with local prosecutors to improve the law.