Bill introduced to prohibit sex offenders from owning guns

Sex offenders convicted of diddling kids would be barred from owning or possessing firearms under a bill introduced Tuesday by a New York congressman.

The Keep Kids Safe Act of 2016 would amend the U.S. penal code “to place limited restrictions on the possession, sale, and other disposition” of a firearm by a person convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses against children.

Rep. Jarrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York, introduced the bill April 12 with the support of gun control groups Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign.

“Guns in the possession of those who are unstable or unfit to use them can have devastating consequences, which is why it is so important for us to be proactive in ensuring that people who may do others harm do not have access to firearms,” Nadler said in a statement.

“Allowing sex offenders who already have shown a propensity to target children access to guns is too great a risk,” he added. “It is irresponsible to simply wait until the next tragedy happens before we act.”

In his statement, his office said presently under federal law it is legal for someone convicted a misdemeanor sex crime against a minor to acquire a firearm. The Keep Kids Safe Act would close that gap.

At the time of writing this article, the bill’s text was not available. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary committee.

This isn’t the first effort to prohibit sex offenders from owning firearms. Nadler introduced an identical amendment in 2010 to a measure to create a national sex offender registry, according to a 2011 Op-Ed by Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center.

However, Sugarmann’s article was about a similar measure introduced by a Florida Democrat, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who tacked on the provision to a pro-gun bill and accepted by the bill’s sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas.