Archive for Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sebelius vetoes concealed weapons bill

Governor also rejects measure reducing payments to injured workers

March 22, 2006


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday set up showdowns with the Legislature by vetoing two measures - one that would allow Kansans to carry concealed weapons, and another aimed at reducing payments to workers injured on the job.

Sebelius said her vetoes were part of her vow to keep Kansans safe.

SB 418, which would have allowed concealed carry of guns, would have endangered the public and law enforcement, she said.

"While every law-abiding Kansan has a right to keep and bear arms, hidden weapons make it harder for law enforcement to do its job, and they make Kansas' workplaces less safe," Sebelius said.

Sebelius said the workers' comp bill, SB 461, was onerous because it would have reduced payments to injured Kansas workers who already have among the lowest benefits in the nation. And, she said, it was too broad.

"The Legislature's proposal would also allow a worker to be terminated simply because of an injury on the job," Sebelius said. "That's a slap in the face to the men and women who work hard every day to do their jobs in a safe and efficient manner, and it's simply wrong."

Override attempts

Attempts by the Legislature to override the vetoes will start today in the Senate, according to Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence.

To override a governor's veto requires two-thirds' majorities: 84 votes in the 125-member House, and 27 votes in the 40-member Senate.

The concealed carry measure was approved 90-33 in the House and 30-10 in the Senate. The workers' comp bill was approved 67-56 in the House and 28-12 in the Senate.

The workers' comp bill is unlikely to be overridden given the earlier votes in the Legislature. And even though concealed carry passed by the two-thirds majorities, that doesn't necessarily mean those votes will hold during an attempted veto override.

Some legislators, especially Democrats, may change their votes to sustain Sebelius, a Democrat.

"If concealed carry is overridden in the Senate, I feel confident about its chances in the House," said state Rep. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth, who has sponsored the measure for years.

Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said he was one of six Democrats in the Senate who voted for the concealed carry bill, and will have to decide whether he will vote to override Sebelius.

"I'll have to make a decision," Hensley said.

Law enforcement opposed

Under the gun bill, Kansas residents 21 or older with no criminal background or history of mental illness or drug abuse could have obtained a four-year permit after completing an eight-hour training course.

Sebelius released a letter from Lenexa Police Chief Ellen Hanson in which Hanson said the bill's provisions were inadequate.

Eight hours of training wasn't enough, and simply banning those with no criminal background wouldn't keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, she said.

"I feel strongly that any legislation that places more guns in the hands of those with little or no expertise in their safe use is detrimental to the people of Kansas," Hanson said.

Workers' comp dispute

Sebelius' veto of the workers' comp bill prompted quick criticisms.

"Businesses across Kansas needed this legislation to grow their companies and jobs in an economy that languishes behind the nation's ongoing fiscal recovery," said Lew Ebert, chief executive officer of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Sen. Jim Barnett, R-Emporia, who is running for governor, said the veto proves that Sebelius "is and forever will be in the pocket of the trial bar."

Business groups and insurance companies said they needed the bill so that when a worker is injured they don't have to pay for the impairment caused by injuries that happened in the past and were unrelated to work, such as a high school football injury.

But military veterans, labor groups, trial attorneys and injured workers said the bill would reduce or eliminate payments because of pre-existing conditions even if those injuries were caused by job-related wear and tear on the body - injuries that were previously unknown and had never been reported.

"Veterans have told me they're appalled that the physical hardships they endured during their military service would be used against them, and I share their concerns," Sebelius said.


doubltap 12 years, 1 month ago

Enough with all the macho gunslingers and silly liberal twits! Concealed carry will neither render Kansas more dangerous nor make it more safe. As in the other three dozen - plus states that have passed [and not seen fit to repeal] similar legislation into law, it will merely provide those having the stones to shoot the thugee bastards with legal access to the tools necessary to do so. 'Twill be fun to see whether or not our nimrods of the Kansas House will put paid to executive arrogance with the same style and fervor displayed by the members of the Senate.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 1 month ago

Good job governor on all counts. It seems to me we do not need more guns on the street.

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce reminds me way too much of the Bush administration. But then so does the legislator.

Shardwurm 12 years, 1 month ago

I'm with derf.

Nothing like bringing a wallet to a gun fight.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

And it was just low to say that law enforcement is opposed to this bill considering it was one officer's letter. I will agree that I don't think 8 hours is enough to determine the competence of somebody wanting to carry. However, sometimes 5 minutes will tell you if somebody should be trusted with a firearm. Law enforcement will know who carries these guns. Do you not think that when the cops run the people's drivers licenses that it won't pull up concealed carry member on their too? Cops have no need to fear people that want to carry concealed guns considering they are mainly doing it for safety not to commit crimes.

Her veto is what we all thought was coming though, which is just another reason why I will not be voting for her come the next election day. Maybe this time more will join me in that resolve.

conservativepunker 12 years, 1 month ago

Another predictable move from the Hillary wannabe. More guns on the street? This won't keep guns "off the street" the criminals and thugs will still keep them in their pockets, wastbands and under the car seats like they already do. All the veto does is keep law abiding citizens from carrying concealed.

Fatty_McButterpants 12 years, 1 month ago

You all are slapass crazy if you think that you would be able to take on the present-day U.S. military with your 2nd amendment rights (which I believe was intended to apply as the right to have a well armed militia - not a bunch of trigger happy "I'm-gonna-be-servin'-up-some-justice!" types).

Craigers: Where does it say that it was "just one letter"? Just because the Governor only released one letter to the press, it does not mean that she only received one letter.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 1 month ago

It is interesting that this concealed-carry legislation, billed as a gun freedom law, actually carries with it a set of very restrictive measures about who can carry a concealed weapon. These are the very strictures that the NRA has opposed for decades: testing, registration, criminal record, not to mention the severe restrictions on where concealed weapons can be carried (e.g. churches, schools, etc.).

Turns out this is one of the more restrictive gun measures to be proposed in a long time. If one thinks about the measure instead of simply reacting to the played-out stereotypes, one will see that this is true.

Janet Lowther 12 years, 1 month ago

It seems that both cops and robbers prefer unarmed victims.

droo 12 years, 1 month ago

the right to bear arms does not mean the unlimited right to bear arms in all places at all times. would it be your position that the government has no right to make a law that says you can't have a gun in a daycare center? and the constitution is silent on the manner in which you bear arms. where in the text of the constitution do you get the idea that you are allowed to carry concealed weapons in public? the framers could not have intended such a result, since there were very few guns in existence at the time of the constitution that were easily concealable (it's hard to fit a musket in your jacket) wouldn't the deterrent value of guns be enhanced by requiring all guns to be conspicuously displayed?

jfan 12 years, 1 month ago

Someone please explain how "the reasons for concealed carry are obvious." Are you telling me that if a criminal pulls a gun on you then you will pull yours as well? Does that not just escalate the situation? How are we safer if everyone has a gun on them?

droo 12 years, 1 month ago

because criminals, who have proven time and time again that they are completely rational actors who keep up on current events will know that now everybody is packing so they won't try to rob people. right? deterrence? its so effective!

optimist 12 years, 1 month ago

I see two problems with the Governors explanation of her veto of concealed carry. The first is a letter from a single police chief. Police chiefs are politicians in every sense, whether appointed or elected. It is not uncommon for police chiefs and sheriffs to oppose concealed carry. However this story fails to make us aware of the fact that the rank and file police officers overwhelmingly support concealed carry. Those polls are rarely referenced by those opposed to concealed carry. To quote one police chief and not balance that with an opposing law enforcement viewpoint reflects bias.

The Governor says she is concerned with average citizens carrying firearms. Believe it or not there is contingent of law enforcement officers who do not continue to train adequately with their firearms. They meet minimum requirements which in my view are inadequate in some cases. I and people I know who are avid recreational shooters are more proficient with a firearm and firearms safety than this contingent of officers. Does knowing this make you feel less safe?

The evidence coming out of other states with concealed carry laws do not support concern for increased violence resulting from the passage of this law. Statistics from the other states show permit holders rarely if ever commit crimes with their firearms. Most of those that have had their permits revoked have been because of things such as DUI, mere allegations of domestic violence (substantiated or not) and other non-violent misdemeanors.

ImpactWinter 12 years, 1 month ago

We all saw this coming, its playing out according to the predictions of anyone with an eye on the legislature. Kansas is one of only four states that do no have a concealed carry program of one kind or another. That means the vast majority of our neighbor states have decided that letting willing people who meet the criteria carry was acceptable. There are still fifty states, not four, the others haven't burnt down. Evidence suggests that this measure would reduce violent crime signifigantly, and likely not bring about Armageddon. I don't see any arguements that address the fact that it would reduce crime. We want that right? I know I do. I'm not afraid of citizens, my neighbors who go through legal avenues to excercise their rights. I'm afraid of the rare criminal who doesn't care at all about the law, and will hurt or rob me with an illegally carried weapon anyway. I don't want blanket Liberal bashing, You're hearing from one.

Todd 12 years, 1 month ago

I hear that BS about fighting the US military with pea-shooter all the time. I have tons of military among friends and family. They tell me most of the force wouldn't support a domestic attack to the point of disobeying orders.

Can you imagine being in the service yourself then ordered to attack civilians? Be realistic.

droo 12 years, 1 month ago

where's all this evidence you keep referring to, and even if you can show a reduction in violent crime, how is it that you're sure that concealed carry is the reason for the drop? newsflash: crime has been on the decline nationally for over a decade. correlation is not causation. one could just as easily say we have less crime because of tax cuts. or welfare reform. or the availability of the morning after pill. or the premiere of "american idol." not to mention that it doesn't follow that concealed guns lead to less reported crime, it would just mean less successful crime. if you shoot the guy thats trying to rob you, you better believe there's still going to be a police report that will get included in crime statistics. unless your proposition is that criminals decide to just not commit crime because of concealed carry, which is so ridiculous and contrary to experience that it's going to be a hard sell.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

Fatty, my dad has been an officer for over 20 years. He and many of his officer peers agree that this is a good measure. She only mentioned one letter that she had received and the section was titled "law enforcement opposed" so you tell me what I should draw from that. If she had so many letters why not say that she released one of many letters from police officers opposing this bill? Seems like they take one officer that probably doesn't do a bunch of real police work anymore since she is a police chief now. When you get into a large city, the higher up the officers get the less police work they do and the more paperwork they do. She shouldn't speak for all law enforcement. The officers I have spoken to about it support it, so the article is flawed trying to make people think law enforcement officers oppose this when as a whole I doubt that is true.

optimist 12 years, 1 month ago

The Constitution does not guarantee the right to conceal a firearm. It does not prevent private property owners from prohibiting firearms from their premises. It does not prevent the states from issuing concealed carry permits. It does not prevent the states from prohibiting concealed firearms in some government buildings.

These are all issues for the legislature and the electorate to decide. In this case the overwhelming majority of both are in favor of it. It's one person standing in the way. She is well within her rights to veto this measure as it is within the rights of the legislature to override the veto or even pass it on to the electorate to decide.

The argument made in this post regarding the definition of the 2nd amendment not protecting the individual's right to bear arms is completely wrong.

"A well regulated militia,"- Refers to capable, skilled and disciplined civilian soldiers separate from the regular or federal army.

"being necessary to the security of a free state,"- Makes absolute the intent of the writers to protect individual freedoms.

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms,"- No mistake about it the people are the individuals and the individuals have a right to keep and bear arms. This has been reaffirmed for over 220 years.

"shall not be infringed."- The Bill of Rights defines specific responsibilities of the elected government and its limitations. Infringed means to restrict or interfere with. Therefore it is clear the elected government "shall not" pass laws that interfere with ones "right" to own and possess a firearm. I further contend this does not protect ones right to conceal however. Preventing the concealment of a firearm does not prevent one from possessing it.

No matter how you choose to define what "A well regulated militia" is the amendment does not make the individuals right to keep and bear arms subservient to being a member of a militia no matter how a militia is defined. If you believe as I do that the framers knew the difference between a standing army and a civilian military ready to take up arms against an invading army or oppressive government then you realize that all able bodied citizens are members of the militia and that if they meant to say a national military they would have said so.

If you believe this amendment is outdated then I suggest you change it through the proper legislative channels and have the amendment repealed. The procedure for doing so is clearly outlined in the very same document.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

She released one letter.

LJW extrapolated law enforcement opposition from that without further statement from her about other letters. That may have been the only one she received. It may have been the only one well-written enough for publication. It may have been one of fifty from law enforcement officers. No way of knowing, but 'law enforcement opposition' seems more the LJW's creation than hers.

I wonder how many people who oppose this veto took the time last week to sit down and write out a letter telling her why you support concealed carry. I know a few people who oppose concealed carry organized letter-writing campaigns last week to urge her veto.

She may be opposed to the idea, but she's also still a politician. If a hundred thousand people sent her letters that say, "I support concealed carry, and it is one of the factors that influences my vote," you can bet she'd reconsider her opposition to it. She might still veto it, you never know. But if she received clear and undeniable evidence from a large number of individual people (because polls may be handy, but they're limited by their question structure and who's asking them) that it was important to them to have this, it would be political suicide not to take that into account.

Jamesaust 12 years, 1 month ago

I don't have a dog in the concealed weapon fight but I do note with interest that of the two vetoed items, the one most likely to change the safety of Kansans - the attempt to rewrite workers comp laws entirely in insurance companies' favor - is the one no one seems worked up about.

Despite Lew Ebert, I'm uncertain how Kansas with almost the lowest cost of workers comp in the U.S. manages to "languish" because of that fact. Could it perhaps just be greed - the excessive desire to possess ever more? The business community has plenty of legit complaints but this particular bill address them with a sledgehammer rather than a scalpel. It exists solely to provide political attacks on Sebelius this Fall.

I guess making mugging by men in suits legal also makes it okay while mugging by men in t-shirts and gold chains remains illegal and therefore not okay.

Steve Mechels 12 years, 1 month ago

So many great points made today!

I am a former Law Enforcement Officer and I support concealed carry. I have written both the governor and my congress folks explaining my views and concerns.

Not all LEO's are proficient as some have stated; my last boss, an undersheriff and sheriff for about 20 years couldn't pass his last qualification with a state minimum of 70% on the first time. I do hope that he was the exception, but he is always armed (he's not here in Douglas cty). This is an invalid argument however; I would place money that we currently accept a far greater risk everytime we get in a car. There are plenty of sub-standard drivers out there and many that don't even have licenses!

Kansas is one of only a handful of states that don't have a CC provision. How often do you here of citizens in other states that have CCW permits shooting people or committing more crimes? A person who will take the responsibility to get the training, be fingerprinted, have a background check and pay the money is not the one you need to worry about. You need to worry about those who aren't responsible, that are already illegally carrying and you don't even know it.

Allow me to legally carry concealed as I could when I was an LEO, and as I currently can in approx. 27 states except the state I live in (yes, I do have a CCW permit from another state that is good in most of the U.S.)

You can bet the outcome of this will affect how I vote!

ImpactWinter 12 years, 1 month ago

I'm quoting the NRA here (imagine, a liberal quoting the NRA!) "Violent crime rates are highest overall in states with laws severely limiting or prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense. (FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1992) -

The total Violent Crime Rate is 26% higher in the restrictive states (798.3 per 100,000 pop.) than in the less restrictive states (631.6 per 100,000).

The Homicide Rate is 49% higher in the restrictive states (10.1 per 100,000) than in the states with less restrictive CCW laws (6.8 per 100,000).

The Robbery Rate is 58% higher in the restrictive states (289.7 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (183.1 per 100,000).

The Aggravated Assault Rate is 15% higher in the restrictive states (455.9 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (398.3 per 100,000). Using the most recent FBI data (1992), homicide trends in the 17 states with less restrictive CCW laws compare favorably against national trends, and almost all CCW permittees are law-abiding.

Since adopting CCW (1987), Florida's homicide rate has fallen 21% while the U.S. rate has risen 12%. From start-up 10/1/87 2/28/94 (over 6 yrs.) Florida issued 204,108 permits; only 17 (0.008%) were revoked because permittees later committed crimes (not necessarily violent) in which guns were present (not necessarily used).

Of 14,000 CCW licensees in Oregon, only 4 (0.03%) were convicted of the criminal (not necessarily violent) use or possession of a firearm. Americans use firearms for self-defense more than 2.1 million times annually.

By contrast, there are about 579,000 violent crimes committed annually with firearms of all types. Seventy percent of violent crimes are committed by 7% of criminals, including repeat offenders, many of whom the courts place on probation after conviction, and felons that are paroled before serving their full time behind bars.

Two-thirds of self-protective firearms uses are with handguns.

99.9% of self-defense firearms uses do not result in fatal shootings of criminals, an important factor ignored in certain "studies" that are used to claim that guns are more often misused than used for self-protection. Of incarcerated felons surveyed by the Department of Justice, 34% have been driven away, wounded, or captured by armed citizens; 40% have decided against committing crimes for fear their would-be victims were armed."

this results are dated, and only correlative, but those statistics are the best guidline we have to govern by, and i think its high-time kansas got on the band-wagon.

wordsofwisdom 12 years, 1 month ago

Freedom doesnt mean we are without control by others such as the law. And freedom doesnt allow us to simply "do what we feel is best for ourselves" all of the time. Freedom means responsibility and the self-control to make good choices that not only benefit ourselves but others as well. There are too many people who want the freedom to carry guns, but they are not responsible enought to make the right choices while doing so. The NRA and Lawmakers who would propose such a law have thier own hidden short, they either want a gun or have someone in their circle who does. They are not looking out for the best interest of the state. The money and effort it takes to regulate such a law should be redirected into ways to get guns OFF of the street.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 1 month ago

Those in favor of gun control should be in favor of this concealed-carry bill. It introduces registration and testing as prerequisites for concealed carry. This is a "foot in the door" for more regulations involving who can own a gun let alone carry a concealed gun.

dizzy_from_your_spin 12 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Govenor...for documenting your distrust of law abiding Kansans.

Liberty 12 years, 1 month ago

People should be reminded that the Constitution was not written as a rule book for the people of this country (you are not 'under' the Constitution). The Constitution was written by the people for the government and is the law of the land for the government to obey. It is not a rule book for the people to obey.

Steve Mechels 12 years, 1 month ago

Agnostick, Regarding whether or not it would show up when running a driver's license, I don't know. That would depend upon the state. I have never seen it come up. I know some states require you to inform the police if you are carrying anytime they ask you for your license so I would guess it isn't linked, or if it is, not effectively. It wouldn't necessarily matter much though because you always have to assume someone is armed.

That is the one provision I put in my letters to the governor and my reps; if the bill passes I would like to see the concealed info printed on the drivers license and require informing the officer. Makes it much safer for the person carrying.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

When I alluded to that information coming up when a license is ran, I would assume they would want to do that for the officer's sake.

I have an idea though, if we all were able to carry guns everyday, then we could easily eliminate the feral swine problem mentioned on the other article!!!

Liberty 12 years, 1 month ago


What do you think of Kimber?

droo 12 years, 1 month ago

"Return to Constitutional law. The Bill of Rights is not a limiting document, thus if it says XYZ it does not exclude ABC either. There absolutely were concealed weapons in that century, so the idea that they couldn't have intended them is nonsense. There was no internet when the 1A was written, should the 1A not apply to it?"

i'm sure you did very well in your con law class, but you utterly fail to establish that the second amendment undermines the ability of the government to prohibit concealed carry. the text says you have the right to bear arms, it doesn't say you have a right to bear concealed arms on your person everywhere. it doesn't follow that establishing a right makes that right unlimited. context clearly has something to do with it. because you have a right to make your political opinions known under the first amendment does not establish that you have a right to stand in the middle of a residential area at 2am with a bullhorn. the framers did know that many cities limited the ability of citizens to carry firearms within city limits, and could have written the amendment to specifically outlaw the practice if thats what they intended. so i ask you again, where in the text of the second amedment does it say you have the unlimited right to bear concealed arms on your person? it's one thing to argue that prohibiting concealed carry is bad policy, it's quite another to argue that the us constitution forbids it.

droo 12 years, 1 month ago

"Regarding open carry being a better deterrent. Actually, CCW is a much better deterrent for non-carrying folks because they gain the protection of folks who do carry."

see, now thats a policy argument. and it flows from a few (flawed) assumptions. first is that criminals (the kind who randomly prey on sweet old ladies) are aware of concealed carry laws. anyone with even a passing knowledge of criminology knows that hard-core career criminals tend to have lower levels of literacy, tend to be less civically engaged (in many states convicted felons are disenfranchied for life), and tend to be from lower economic classes. also, criminals are more likely to possess firearms illegally (what with their being criminals and all). all of these factors mean it's less likely criminals will even know about the concealed carry laws, a necessary precondition for deterrence. second, you assume that most violent crime is of the random variety--i.e. a stranger assaulting a sweet old lady on the street. this isn't even remotely true. for starters, you can check here: (there's better sources of statistics but this is the first one that popped up). the vast majority of violent crime occurs between people who know each other, particularly murder and assault. the numbers are even higher for sexual assault, which is far more likely to occur in the home than in public (so concealed carry wouldn't be incredibly useful, seeing as how there's no law against carrying around a gun in your home) third is that criminals react rationally to concealed carry laws. problem is, criminals are human beings, not soviet russia--mutually assured destruction doesn't apply. loads of random stranger crime is opportunistic--a criminal spots the sweet old lady walking by herself and takes her wallet. you know that even with concealed carry laws, not everybody will be packing. it's reasonable to assume that criminals are capable of realizing this as well. their decisions about who to victimize will be based on who "seems" like they're carrying a gun. even with concealed carry, i sincerely doubt the assumption will be that the sweet old lady walking by herself has some serious heat. not to mention that, say, a crackhead isn't likely to be at the height of rationality if they decide to rob a stranger. also, if criminals are as rational as you seem to think, wouldn't it follow that they would be more likely to commit crimes with guns that without (based on the assumption that more of their victims are armed)? wouldn't more criminals with guns be more dangerous, even if we had concealed carry?

staff04 12 years, 1 month ago

I would feel less safe walking the streets with my family if this bill became law...

Todd 12 years, 1 month ago

You can feel less safe/secure no matter what happens. It's your choice.

staff04 12 years, 1 month ago

Would you argue that I could just make the choice to feel more safe? I don't think it works that way. Safety and security are not just a state of mind. You have a blissfully ignorant approach though. I hope it keeps you happy.

staff04 12 years, 1 month ago

Would you argue that one could just make a choice to feel MORE safe? I don't think it works that way. Safety and security are not just a state of mind. You have a blissfully ignorant approach to this concept. I'm glad it is keeping you happy.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 12 years, 1 month ago

I am a retired peace officer and I am strongly in favor of the concealed carry bill. I have worked with Rep. Ruff, whose husband is a police officer, to get this bill passed for several years. Don't believe all law enforcement officers are against this bill, many favor it. It won't make their jobs harder, it will cut down violent crime and that will make their jobs easier. The most recent issue of the NRA magazine has an article about Texas, which has had concealed carry for several years. As the article states, there have been minimal problems with concealed carry in Texas. If a law enforcement officer stops a legally armed citizen, the citizen is trained in that 8 hour class to tell the officer he is armed, and show his concealed carry permit. Most likely the officer will take the weapon and unload it, for his own protection, until the citizen is given a ticket, etc. Then he will return the weapon. As for law enforcement officers, retired and active, having a personal stake in the results of this bill, we don't. We are covered by a federal law that allows us to carry our firearms. Thank you, Lynn

texascarl 12 years, 1 month ago

Senate overrides veto, 30-10. Bill goes to the house tomorrow (3-23)

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