Mother of boy killed in accidental shooting pushes for stronger gun storage law

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas mother continues pushing for stronger gun storage laws after losing her son to an accidental shooting in 2019.

One year ago, 9-year-old Roy’ale Spencer died after police said he was accidentally shot by a friend. Investigators say the boys unlocked a gun safe and played with the gun before it went off.

Roy’ale’s family is celebrating his life while encouraging lawmakers to strengthen the consequences of gun owners not locking up their firearms properly.

“I miss my son every day,” said Geneva Smith, Roy’ale’s mother. “Not just today, it’s every day for me.”

Smith said her son’s big smile and kind heart is what she’s been sharing with the world since he passed away and she will continue to do so while working to prevent the same tragedy from happening to other families.

“You never expect to get a call like that,” said Smith. “It’s overwhelming.”

Smith named a bill after Roy’ale that has already been introduced and assigned to a committee in the current Kansas Legislative Session.

The Roy’ale Law, also known as Roy’ale’s Law would enforce safe storage of firearms, a move that could encourage gun owners to take a second look at gun lock boxes or safes.

“We don’t have anything in current statute that addresses this issue,” said Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita.

Sen. Faust-Goudeau said the move to reintroduce the bill to lawmakers comes after much effort to raise awareness for gun storage in Wichita.

“Talking to our District Attorney, Mark Bennet in Wichita and our police chief, Gordon Ramsay, their hands are really tied of how we hold someone accountable,” said Sen. Faust-Goudeau.

Roy’ale’s loved ones said the bill would not take away any gun rights, but instead make sure that guns are stored properly.

The family wants to protect the children of Kansas.

“My heart smiles because there are actually people who are listening,” said Smith.

The Roy’ale Law will be heard in committee next.

For more information about the bill or how you can support the foundation, click here.

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