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Archive for Friday, April 27, 2007

Sebelius’ concealed carry veto overridden

April 27, 2007

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto of a bill preventing local governments from imposing additional restrictions on Kansans carrying concealed guns was overridden Thursday in the House, but she will have to wait to see whether the Senate follows suit.

The 98-26 vote - 14 more than the two-thirds majority required - was the first step toward handing Sebelius her second veto defeat.

"It's not a real surprise," Sebelius spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran said of the House vote.

The Senate had planned to take up the override effort later Thursday, but postponed action because a senator who supports it was absent. The chamber passed the bill 29-11 and it takes 27 votes to override and allow the bill to become law.

If the Senate does override, it will be the second time in two years a veto by the Democratic governor has been overridden by the Republican-controlled Legislature, each time over legislation dealing with concealed guns.

Last year, the Legislature overturned her veto of the bill allowing law-abiding Kansans who meet state requirements to get a four-year permit to carry a concealed gun. Since January, the attorney general's office has issued some 6,500 permits.

Sen. Phil Journey, who plans to make the override motion, said there are more than enough votes to nullify the veto.

"The reason for the veto was insignificant to the important part of the bill of statewide licenses being administered only by the attorney general," said Journey, R-Haysville. "The cities obviously exceeded the original intent of the law. It's easier to clarify the law than have a test case in court."

The bill also would require information - including date of birth, gender and race - be "immediately forwarded" to the FBI when a court finds a person be a danger to themselves or others. It also would prohibit the issuing of permits to those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

When she vetoed the bill April 13, Sebelius said she felt it posed "new threats to public safety." The governor said she didn't oppose an attempt to make concealed gun rules consistent statewide but the bill became flawed when the Senate reworked it.

Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls said the vote was about what he expected.

"The message to the governor and the people is that elected officials in the House support the Second Amendment and people's rights under it," he said. "The governor never supported the Second Amendment. It's not a surprise she didn't this time."

Rep. L. Candy Ruff, who helped lead the override effort, called the vote margin "encouraging."

"It shows a determination by the House to have concealed carry consistently applied," said Ruff, D-Leavenworth. "We occupy the field of concealed carry, period."

Ruff called the governor's decision "an unfortunate turn of events," adding she agrees with Sebelius on 98 percent of her positions.

The bill was a reaction to efforts by some cities, especially in Johnson County, to impose their own requirements.

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