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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Strong support for guns proposal

House, Senate might be able to override veto by Sebelius

March 15, 2006

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— Senators are ready to send Gov. Kathleen Sebelius legislation allowing law-abiding Kansans to carry concealed weapons, a bill nearly identical to one she vetoed two years ago.

On Tuesday, the House voted 90-33 to return the bill to the Senate, which passed it last month 29-11. If the numbers hold, each chamber would have the two-thirds majority to override a veto.

Sponsoring Sen. Phil Journey said he will ask colleagues today to accept the House changes and send the measure to the governor. He said if the bill reaches her desk Friday, she will have until March 27 to decide what to do.

"I'm good with everything the House did," said Journey, R-Haysville. "There's no need to slow down the process by sending it to a conference committee."

Journey said the governor taking action by March 27 will give supporters a chance to attempt a veto override before legislators take a break until the end of April, when they return to wrap up the session.

"I don't want to give her the whole month of April to cherry pick them off," Journey said.

Last year, when the governor signed a bill allowing retired police officers to carry concealed weapons, she said that's as far as she wants to go. She vetoed a concealed gun bill in 2004, saying she questioned whether the measure would make Kansans safer.

"I'm likely to veto it again. Very little has changed since I saw this the last time," she said Tuesday.

Rep. L. Candy Ruff of Leavenworth said she would urge her fellow Democrat to let the bill become law without her signature.

But Sebelius said, "That is an option, but not one I'm looking very strongly at."

The question is whether election-year lawmakers can muster the 84 votes in the House and 27 in the Senate, where six Democrats were among those voting for the bill.

"The key is how much partisan loyalty the Democrats have to the Democratic governor," said Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence.

House Speaker Doug Mays says it's "always difficult" to override a veto in his chamber, where Republicans hold an 83-42 edge. If all Democrats side with the governor, Republicans will fall short.

Under the proposal, Kansas residents 21 or older who are U.S. citizens can obtain a four-year permit by filling out an application with the local sheriff and paying a fee of up to $150.

The attorney general's office would issue the permits after conducting background checks to eliminate those with a felony record, a history of mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, or physical infirmity preventing the safe handling of a weapon. Completion of an eight-hour training course approved by the attorney general's office also is required.

Kansas would be among 36 "shall issue" states, meaning the state must issue the permit if the requirements are met. Eight states have "may issue" laws that give officials latitude. Alaska and Vermont have no prohibitions for carrying a concealed weapon.

Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Illinois are the only states where concealed guns are banned.

The House changed the bill so that someone would lose a permit after being convicted of domestic violence or after having a restraining order for domestic violence issued against them.

House members also added day-care centers, places of worship and libraries to the list of places where hidden guns are banned. The list already included places such as law enforcement offices and state and local government buildings. Any property owner can prohibit concealed weapons by posting a sign.

Comments

ImpactWinter 8 years, 9 months ago

This discussion has been sprawling across every LJworld article relevent to the topic. Again I think that since the vast majority of other states have allowed one form of concealed carry or another, we can look to their crime statistics as a guideline for its ramifications. Overwhelmingly, the data suggests that the crime rate does drop, sometimes as much as 10% or more. That is a signifigant beneficial change swept in by a penstroke. Many people feel uneasy about their neighbors arming themselves, but when a rampaging drunk was bashing down my neighbors door, I was relieved to see that even at 2:00 am, I wasn't the only one standing in my underwear ready to help. I trust my neighbors, the citizens of Kansas. But really, all it takes is one miscreant, and its niave to think they aren' out there, to take something that doesn't belong to him/her by force to ruin or end the lives of their victim and families. The government can't really stop someone intent on hurting you, maybe they can catch them after the fact and punish them. In the end your safety and security, and that of your neighbors lies in your own hands.

Janet Lowther 8 years, 9 months ago

Sometimes I wonder if victim disarmament advocates like merril realize that the police are under no obligation to protect her. (Or is it him?)

The courts have ruled time and again that the police have no obligation to protect anyone even if they have a credible threat at a specific time.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

I know of no law enforcement agency that is ready to move back to wild west days. Governor Sebelius veto the bill.

Perhaps the reason there are so many gun related murders is because only 4 states have retained a bit of sanity.

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