Governor Jeff Colyer has signed into law some changes to gun laws in Kansas. And one of the changes now makes it a Kansas crime for a domestic violence offender to have a gun.

Officers can already get criminal background information when they pull you over. But now in Kansas, a new law will soon give officers another tool to make an arrest. 

Kansas house bill 2145 makes it a Kansas crime to possess or own a gun if you’ve got a conviction for domestic violence in the last five years. And the law allows local prosecutors to bring local charges. 

“I think it is the absolute right step for Kansas to make,” said Tracey Gay, Wichita Family Crisis Center.

Tracey helps victims of domestic violence and says the new law could help keep her clients safer. 

 “We know that the presence of a firearm increases the risk of homicide by 500-percent,” explained Gay. 

District Attorney Marc Bennett says the law is a great idea, however he says getting the information to officers on the streets to enforce this new law may take some time. 

“It’s probably a year or two ahead of pace for where the state is going to be ready to interact,” said Bennett. “It’s going to be the IT department of the county interfacing with the IT department of the city, to make sure that those two are communicating with each other.”

While the state works on a new system for entering information that will come online in 2020, those who help victims of domestic violence hope the new way to prosecute on the state level will be a way to bring another charge against offenders, and that could help victims.

“So I’m hoping that this new law and the prosecution and like you (asked) said getting some teeth into it, sends a message to abusers that this is not acceptable behavior,” added Gay.

The new law was just signed by the governor, and it goes online next week. The law mimics a federal law that is already in place, and the law also makes it a Kansas crime for anyone unlawfully in the U.S. to possess a gun.