Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Gun Laws, Housing, and More: State vs Local Control


Gun Laws, Housing, and More: State vs Local Control

About this Event
When it comes to our legislative processes, who is really in control – local, state or federal lawmakers? This becomes especially important in light of efforts related to issues such as gun control, ridesharing and affordable housing.

By way of example, we know that Kansas City has a problem with gun violence, and while our new Mayor is working to address it with innovative policies, the balance of power between federal, state and local government is complicated in America.

How does a city effectively navigate these dynamics to create safe and healthy communities, especially when there isn’t always agreement among lawmakers? Can Kansas City truly move the needle on topics like gun violence when we run the risk of having local efforts pre-empted at the state and federal level?

Join American Public Square, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and other expert panelists for a discussion about what it takes to drive true change in our communities.


Allison Anderman, senior counsel, joined Giffords Law Center in 2014. Allison’s areas of expertise include helping cities and counties around the country enact effective local gun safety laws and passing extreme risk protection order legislation. Allison also writes Gun Law Trendwatch—Gifford Law Center’s roundup of state firearm legislation—and manages the legal content of the website.

Allison speaks at events around the country and has analyzed and debated gun laws on CNN, HuffPost Live, and many other news programs. Allison’s radio appearances include national NPR, KQED in San Francisco, and KCRW in Los Angeles. She has been quoted extensively in the press, including by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and the Guardian.

Janeé Hanzlick was elected to the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners in 2019. She is the former CEO of SAFEHOME, Johnson County’s domestic violence agency, where she spent 20 years working for a safer, stronger community. She was a leader in implementing the Johnson County Lethality Assessment Program (LAP), a collaboration between the District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement and SAFEHOME, that significantly reduced domestic homicides in our county. At SAFEHOME, she also oversaw two successful facility expansions that doubled the agency’s capacity. She served as a key spokesperson to the Kansas Legislature on issues related to funding and legislation impacting victims of domestic violence and their children in Johnson County.

Other experience includes serving as the past president of the Johnson County Community Violence Action Council (COMVAC), current president of the Overland Park Rotary Club, graduate of 2007 Leadership Overland Park, and graduate of the Overland Park Citizens’ Police Academy.

Commissioner Hanzlick has a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and she is a licensed master social worker (LMSW) in Kansas.

Commissioner Hanzlick and her husband of 32 years, David, reside in the Sylvan Grove neighborhood in Overland Park. They are the proud parents of two adult children, Margaret and Amelia, who are Shawnee Mission South graduates.

Quinton Lucas, “Mayor Q,” was sworn in as the 55th mayor of Kansas City on August 1, 2019.

As mayor, Quinton has prioritized making Kansas City’s neighborhoods safer, creating more accessible and affordable housing and public transportation, fostering a healthier community and improving basic services. Quinton created and chairs the City’s Special Committee on Housing Policy.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Quinton has spent most of his life in the city’s urban core. As a child, he moved often and experienced homelessness, sometimes staying with family or friends, or residing in a motel. Despite these challenges, Quinton remained focused on his schoolwork, earning academic scholarships to high school, college and Cornell Law School before returning home to Kansas City.

Since 2012, Quinton has been a member of the University of Kansas Law School faculty, where he served as one of the youngest tenure-track law professors in the country. He is active in the Kansas City community and volunteers extensively in area schools and organizations, including providing mentorship in local prisons.

Mayor Quinton Lucas lives in the Historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, which he previously represented on the City Council.

Jeff King, Attorney at Sage Law

Jeff King specializes in appellate law, trust litigation, and complex financial litigation.  Jeff also uses his background as a former Kansas legislator and Vice President of the Kansas Senate to help clients with education law, government relations, and public policy consulting. Jeff has a B.A. in International Relations and Economics from Brown University, an M.A. in Agricultural Economics from Cambridge University and a J.D. from Yale University School of Law; he is also a member of the Bar for Kansas, Missouri and the United States Supreme Court, among others.  Among many honors, Jeff was recognized as a Harry S. Truman Scholar, a Marshall Scholar and a Rhodes Scholarship National Finalist.  He is also a Leadership Kansas Graduate.


Allen Rostron, who joined the faculty of UMKC Law School in 2003, teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, tort law, products liability, and conflict of laws.

Before becoming a teacher, Rostron worked in Washington, D.C. as a Senior Staff Attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, where he was part of a nationwide litigation effort that included lawsuits brought against gun manufacturers by several dozen major cities and counties. Rostron began his career working as a law clerk for Judge Thomas S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and then as a litigation associate at the Cravath Swaine & Moore law firm in New York City.

Professor Rostron’s research and writing has had a significant impact on several areas of law. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin relied on one of his articles in a decision in which it became the first court in the nation to impose proportional or “market share” liability on manufacturers of lead paint. In another article, Professor Rostron suggested a new approach to regulation of high-powered sniper rifles, and that approach was subsequently enacted into law in the District of Columbia and incorporated into proposed federal legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate.

Fact Checkers
  • Tom Burns
  • Chris Lebeau