Governor vetoes concealed-gun law

Legislator plans override attempt

? Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today vetoed legislation that would have prevented cities and counties from restricting concealed gun permit holders.

In her veto message, Sebelius cited some of the same concerns mentioned by city of Lawrence officials.

She said House Bill 2528 “actually sets up greater inconsistencies and creates new threats to the public.”

For example, Sebelius said, “concealed weapons currently may be banned at professional and school sporting events. However, this bill would prevent communities from banning them at similar such events at city or county sports fields.

“If it is in the interest of public safety to not have weapons at school-sponsored sporting events, it makes little sense to then prohibit local officials from banning guns at other sporting events, as this bill would propose.”

State Rep. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth, said the Legislature will try to overturn the veto, which would require a two-thirds vote.

“We are certainly going to try,” Ruff said. The Legislature returns for a wrap-up session on April 25.

State Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville, said the legislation is needed so the law allowing permitted concealed carry of guns is uniform statewide.

If not passed, Journey said he feared law-abiding citizens could get in trouble. “Cities set traps for permit holders,” he said.

A veto override would take 84 votes in the 125-member House, and 27 votes in the 40-member Senate. The measure passed in the House with 106 votes and the Senate with 29 votes. But some who voted for the bill may refuse to vote to override a veto.

In her veto message, Sebelius said she supported compromise language that had been proposed that would have given local officials some flexibility in restricting concealed carry. That language, however, was taken out of final version of the bill.

“If the Legislature decides to take further action on this issue, I would strongly encourage them to pass the compromise language,” she said.