Topeka Police Chief Advocates Change In Gun Law

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A loop hole in last years Uniform Public Offense Code had allowed loaded guns in vehicles and police had hoped everyday citizens would use judgement wisely.

Tuesday night Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller said over the past few months, that has not been the case.

In December 2012 Topeka City Council members voted and tried to appeal to both sides of the gun debate by allowing law abiding citizens to carry loaded guns in vehicles but banning possession by those who commit crimes.

Miller sided with the majority vote, saying, "It was a let's try it and see what happens. We tried it and saw that we were seeing some serious situations arise. It made us think maybe it isn't a good idea.

A recent situation hit the police force close to home when Chief Miller says a motorist pulled a gun on an off duty officer. He said, "The main issue is the weapon was in the car and the driver did not know the motorcyclist was a police officer. Also because of the easy availability of the weapon by someone not ordinarily thought of as a criminal."

Miller's proposal would have exceptions for police officers, hunting, and for people with concealed carry licenses, but he believes it still would be an effective change.

He puts the law in perspective, saying, "People will say the bad guys are going to carry guns any, and they are right. But at least it gives us a tool to take that weapon away from the situation with the prohibition of loaded guns in cars."

Topeka City Council members could vote on the proposal as early as November 19th.

Also from tonight's city council meeting, Pam Simecka is leaving after working for the city of Topeka for 9 1/2 years. She will be taking the finance director position in Midland, Texas.