Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Compromise reached on concealed-carry bill

March 31, 2004


— House and Senate negotiators agreed Tuesday on the details of a bill that would allow Kansans to carry concealed handguns, including at the Statehouse.

The measure now awaits acceptance -- without amendment -- by both chambers, which would send it to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and a likely veto.

Sebelius has said she would prefer to limit concealed-carry to retired law enforcement officers and would probably not sign more permissive legislation.

Approved by the House earlier this month, the bill won Senate passage Friday after being amended to allow concealed weapons in the Capitol and in restaurants where alcohol is served.

The Senate also amended the measure to put the attorney general's office, rather than the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, in charge of issuing concealed-carry permits.

House negotiators on Tuesday accepted all of those changes, as well as a Senate provision banning concealed guns in elementary and secondary schools and any "structure used for student instruction or attendance."

The negotiators' version of the bill also would require the attorney general's office to issue a concealed-carry permit to any Kansan who is at least 21 and a U.S. citizen, has no mental illness or drug or alcohol addiction, completes eight hours of training and pays a $150 fee.

Concealed weapons would be specifically prohibited in state office buildings other than the Capitol, as well as schools, city halls, courthouses, state office buildings, the Kansas State Fair, bars and taverns.

Legislators can override a governor's veto by a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

Senators passed the concealed guns bill by a veto-proof 28-12 margin, but many of the favorable votes came from Democrats who likely would not oppose the Democratic governor.

The House had approved its version on a 78-45 vote -- six favorable votes short of the 84 needed to override a veto.

Kansas is among four states that do not have some type of concealed-carry law.

In other action:

-- A bill designed to make all polling places accessible to the disabled emerged from legislative negotiations, pleasing activists.

-- The chairman of the state ethics commission criticized a bill sharply reducing the information lobbyists must report when they treat legislators to meals.

-- Because neither chamber convened while their negotiators worked on bills, Tuesday was not considered one of the 90 days legislators are scheduled to be in session this year.


Concealed carry is HB 2798.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.