Archive for Monday, June 16, 2008

Weapons provision surprises leaders

Legislators: Law allowing guns in bars needs to be reviewed

June 16, 2008


Hidden Heat: Concealed carry in Kansas
Finding places that allow you to carry a concealed weapon in Lawrence is not hard, Journal-World reporter Chad Lawhorn found. A new law that went into effect July 1 makes it even easier to obtain a concealed carry permit.

In summer 2007, reporter Chad Lawhorn embarked on a project to document the process of receiving a concealed carry permit in Kansas. Follow Lawhorn as he goes through the steps - from buying a gun to carrying it on the streets - and learn more about some of the people and places he encountered along the way More

Reader poll
Do you support the recently changed law that allows concealed-carry permit-holders to bring loaded weapons into bars that don't have a no-handgun sign posted on its doors?

or See the results without voting


Several area legislators say they were surprised to learn that a bill they voted for in 2007 loosened the restrictions on concealed-carry holders bringing loaded weapons into bars.

"I don't have a specific recollection of that being discussed at all," said Rep. Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat. "Unfortunately, with the gun bills there seems to be specific little things that get stuck in there, and then they don't get mentioned when they are on the floor."

Davis and other legislators said they believed the regulations needed to be reviewed during next year's legislative session.

Last week, the Journal-World reported that a 2007 change in state law removed language that automatically prohibits concealed-carry holders from taking guns into bars and taverns, regardless of whether the establishments have no-gun signs posted.

The law now reads that concealed-carry holders cannot be cited for breaking the law by entering a tavern - and several other locations - unless the tavern has a state-approved no-gun sign posted.

Several bar owners and the leader of the Kansas Licensed Beverage Association told the Journal-World they were not aware of the law change, which took effect on July 1, 2007.

Legislators' stances

All but one member of the Lawrence legislative delegation supported the bill in 2007. Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, was the lone member of the local delegation to vote to sustain Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto.

But even Sebelius' veto message did not mention the signage issue with bars. Instead, much of the focus on the bill was related to prohibiting cities and counties from creating their own concealed-carry regulations.

Both Rep. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin, and Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, said that was the issue they remembered voting for. Both lawmakers said a review of the regulations would be appropriate, although Sloan said he would keep the issue in perspective.

"People need to be aware that folks carrying concealed without a license are the ones really causing all the problems," Sloan said. "People who have a license are, by and large, law-abiding citizens."

Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, said he also did not recall that part of the bill. He has been a supporter of concealed-carry legislation, but said he did think there were places where loaded weapons were inappropriate.

Supporters of the law change said it was necessary to clear up confusion about where licensed concealed-carry holders - there are about 14,000 in the state - could enter.

Rep. Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, conducted a hearing on the bill as chairman of the House's Federal and State Affairs Committee. He said the signage issue was only briefly mentioned during the hearing, but he said that's because no one found the change objectionable.

"This way people entering a property never have an excuse. They can't say they didn't know," Siegfreid said. "I would think the bars would want to have the signs up."

Schools, other buildings

But the law also changed signage requirements for schools, libraries, courthouses and several other government buildings. Siegfreid said he would be concerned if schools were not posting the signs.

Mark Tallman, a lobbyist with the Kansas Association of School Boards, said he felt confident nearly all schools in the state had no-gun signs posted. He also said he was confident schools were covered by a federal law that prohibits concealed-carry holders from bringing a weapon to a school attendance center. The federal law, however, doesn't cover ancillary buildings, such as school offices, he said.

Like bar owners, it appears some library leaders also were unaware of the change. Jim Minges, director of the 116-member Northeast Kansas Library System, was not aware that libraries now must post the sign if they want to prohibit concealed carry.

"I'd say that issue was pretty quiet," said Minges, who serves on a legislative affairs committee design to follow legislative action impacting libraries.

Minges said he believed some libraries wouldn't be pleased with the change.

"There has been a lot of discussion about whether putting the sign up calls attention to the issue, and perhaps invites unwanted attention," Minges said. "I know many libraries have chosen not to put up the sign, but that may change."

Siegfreid said he was surprised some groups had not heard of the law change, but stopped short of saying the state had a responsibility to notify them.

"That is one reason we have committee hearings," Siegfreid said. "It allows people to get involved."


geekin_topekan 9 years, 11 months ago

Didn't they read the thing before they passed it?Oh well.Who in their right mind would go into a bar without a gun in the first place?You might run into a liqour powered tough guy or something.And without false testicles how are you gonna explain your beatdown?

Flap Doodle 9 years, 11 months ago

Whose agenda is being served by stirring up all the dust on this old news?

MattressMan 9 years, 11 months ago

Morons in the legislature, what a surprise!

MandM 9 years, 11 months ago

This doesn't surprise me at all. They deal with hundreds of bills per session. I'm sure there are other bills they don't recall. But good grief folks this is an issue the legislators voted on twice to overcome a veto by the governor.

Janet Lowther 9 years, 11 months ago

I don't see why this is controversial. It is still illegal to carry while drunk.Were I god-emperor of the universe, it would be required for all adults to be armed any time they were out in public! Including court houses and schools. In fact just about anywhere except jails! The police have repeatedly proven their inability to prevent shootings in those areas, so I would make sure anyone attempting such an atrocity would face return fire!

Shayntel Harris 9 years, 11 months ago

The bill is not to "allow" guns in bars, it's to require all buildings to label themselves as legal to carry in or not. Believe it or not, legal concealed carriers actually care about the law and don't want to violate it.Put up the sign and be done with it. You'll only have to worry about the people who have no consideration for the law in the first place.

Sigmund 9 years, 11 months ago

geekin_topekan (Anonymous) says: "Didn't they read the thing before they passed it?"I think the answer is pretty obvious, "No." So let's all act all surprised and all.

classclown 9 years, 11 months ago

"I don't have a specific recollection of that being discussed at all," said Rep. Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat. "Unfortunately, with the gun bills there seems to be specific little things that get stuck in there, and then they don't get mentioned when they are on the floor."=====================================Isn't it your job to know what's in the bills you're voting on before you vote on them? Stupid and lazy representatives like this stupid and lazy chump is the reason we end up with bad/stupid laws or paying out the nose for someone's pet project that the majority neither wants or needs.Ignorance of the law is no excuse? What excuse is there for ignorance of the law maker?

MandM 9 years, 11 months ago

This is the amount of activity that took place for HB 2528 to pass in the legislature. It included a veto override. Legislators had plenty of time to familiarize themselves with this bill and flag it if they wanted to follow it closely. Full History on bill 2528H 2528 Bill by Federal and State Affairs Firearms; state preemption of regulation; amendments to concealed weapon licensure law. Effective date: 05/03/2007. 02/14/2007 H Introduced -HJ 220 02/15/2007 H Referred to Federal and State Affairs -HJ 222 03/13/2007 H CR: Be passed as am. by Federal and State Affairs -HJ 407 03/20/2007 H COW: CR be adptd; be further am.; be passed as am. -HJ 460; Engrossed -HJ 485 03/21/2007 H FA: Passed as am.; Yeas 107 Nays 17 -HJ 466 03/21/2007 S Received and introduced -SJ 416 03/22/2007 S Referred to Federal and State Affairs -SJ 437; CR: Be passed as am. by Federal and State Affairs -SJ 441 03/27/2007 S COW:; CR be adptd -SJ 505 03/26/2007 S Be further am. -SJ 510; Be passed as am. -SJ 510 03/27/2007 S FA: Passed as am.; Yeas 29 Nays 11 -SJ 524 04/02/2007 H Concurred; Yeas 106 Nays 16 -HJ 686; Reengrossed -HJ 713 04/06/2007 H Enrolled and presented to gov. -HJ 1127 04/13/2007 Vetoed by gov.; returned to house -HJ 1063 04/26/2007 H Motion to override veto prevailed; bill passed; Yeas 98 Nays 26 -HJ 1130 04/27/2007 S Motion to override veto prevailed; bill passed; Yeas 30 Nays 10

oxandale 9 years, 11 months ago

Guns in bars? Yep, lets put a gun in the hands of a angry drunk.

jumpin_catfish 9 years, 11 months ago

LJW beating the dead horse again and again and again.

bondmen 9 years, 11 months ago

The militia is 1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers. 2. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

Robert Marble 9 years, 11 months ago

Even as a staunch firearms rights advocate, I do find the idea of carrying in a bar to be potentially problematic. But as I understand it, Kansas has wisel chosen to make it illegal to carry while intoxicated. So at that point it becomes a non-issue. It's reasonable to carry as long as you're not drinking- as it should be.

texburgh 9 years, 11 months ago

I'm so sick of the "these are law abiding citizens" argument. Every criminal behind bars was once a law abiding citizen. Jesse James, Clyde Barrow, Charles Manson were all once law abiding citizens. Jeffrey Dahmer was a law abiding citizen who developed a taste for human flesh. We all start out as law abiding citizens but sometimes something makes some of us snap. A parent gets mad at his child's hockey coach and beats him to death. A man gets angry at his wife and shoots her. When we mix alcohol with firearms we are asking for trouble. One of these days, one of these law abiding citizens is going to reach his or her limit. Maybe it will only happen once. But is any life expendible? We need to keep guns out of bars period.

Robert Marble 9 years, 11 months ago

According to the above story, apparently there IS a right to carry in a bar.

poop2scoop 9 years, 11 months ago

I guess they were so busy enriching themselves by finagling free gifts, trips and money from lobbyist that they simple did not have time to do the job they were elected to do.

Mike Blur 9 years, 11 months ago

One hundred percent manufactured BS by the ljworld. Ninety percent of CCW holders are aging, grandfatherly white folks who don't even carry 98 percent of the time. They only hold the permit "because they can."The other 10 percent are usually employees transporting large amounts of cash ($10,000-plus) and typically, they carry only when working. I don't know why Lawhorn and the LJW thinks this is an issue. Please make this non-story go away.

ebd10 9 years, 11 months ago

Amazing; a politician is too lazy or stupid to find out what's in a piece of legislation that he/she is endorsing and you're all surprised? The only thing that politicians care about is, "Will this get me re-elected?" Aside from that, they could care less.Moreover this issue has been beaten to death. Don't want guns in your bar? Put up a sign and take your chances. Restricting guns has worked so well in the past, why quit now?

bondmen 9 years, 11 months ago

"Just A Reminder That Democrats Are Lying About ThisA very nice collection of video of various Democrats with access to intelligence reports, explaining why the Iraq War was necessary. that the Bush Administration (and many foreign governments) were too prepared to believe untrustworthy sources with their own agendas (such as the Iraqi National Congress). Argue that the Bush Administration did a lousy job with the occupation. Argue that they used the precautionary principle (the one that supposedly justifies destroying the global economy because maybe global warming is anthropogenic). But this continual "Bush Lied, People Died" that Democrats are pushing is dishonest."

gphawk89 9 years, 11 months ago

"they were surprised to learn that a bill they voted for..."To vote for a bill when you don't even know what it contains is just plain irresponsible. And we trust these folks to help run our government?

Robert Marble 9 years, 11 months ago

Too many here miss the point- guns aren't causing crimes, It's a people thing. Face it- if guns cause crimes then pencils cause misspelled words & matches cause fire.

Mike Blur 9 years, 11 months ago

RobertMarble, I have to address you assertion that people have the "right" to carry in a bar.When it comes to a patron at a bar, there are no "rights" but there are privileges. I have worked in downtown Lawrence bars for many years, and it was my job to ascertain whether or not it was safe for people to enter "my bar." I can exclude you for any reason; whether I think you're packin', dope dealing or have toilet bowl breath.Oddly enough, the only banned patrons I have encountered were the out-and-out misogynists, who had a track record of groping and hating on women. Those types of individuals are a far greater threat, that the LJW should write about as opposed to scaring people about non-existent CCW "packers."

Flap Doodle 9 years, 11 months ago

BTW, the cyber**ing website cool is plugging is part of a certain odious local 'forum' where you can see stellar examples of juvenile personal attacks. If that's what you're all about, I'd recommend going through proxify dot com if you want to check it out.

StephenCCH 9 years, 11 months ago

The difference between a bar and a restaurant is the percentage of sales of alcohol. The minimum standard of food sales is 30% for a restaurant (KSA 41-2601). The issue with the bars is definitely keeping in spirit with the intent of the bill. There is no practical way for me to establish the legal classification of a business without actually going in and asking (which under the old system, would have been a crime). What this really does is eliminate the criminal repercussions of those who make honest mistakes with no ill intent. It's not about carrying a firearm into a bar, it's about marking those bars so people know not to carry there. How are people going to know they're speeding if there are no speed limit signs posted? Do you think any judge would hold up a ticket from a zone that's not marked?

Exparte 9 years, 11 months ago

Guns in libraries? Yep thats right. Lets put guns into the hands of an angry nerd! Gun free zones = free victim zones.

Kasha 9 years, 10 months ago

Sigh...........same old "poor (literally) Lawrence." Now the city/county commissioners may not be able to vote themselves more than a 1% salary increase. Gasp! Blast the economy, eh? As far as I'm concerned, 1% is too much, and it would be a good first step to cancel any pay raise for the 2009 budget and perhaps apply the saving to something important.. It seems the city commissioners, with few exceptions, spend more time "considering" than deciding. I thougjht once Sue Hack was no longer Mayor, things would be better, but she still wrings her hands.The rest of us have to bite the bullet with inflation. We can't ask for tax raises to help us individually. The State of Kansas has not given Pension increases to its retirees in over six years. And yet, public school teachers who are not qualified to teach get pay raise after pay raise. Is that fair? If I were a parent, I would sue the State for certifying teachers who don't seem to be able to utter a literate sentence.Our advice to you: Learn to live within your budget. A good percentage of the population of Lawrence has to. It is doubtful we will approve a tax increase when we can barely make it from paycheck to paycheck as it is.

Saras 9 years, 9 months ago

So - setting aside guns for the moment, so to speak - the issue appears to be: how big of a problem is it that legislators pass laws of which they have no comprehension of the contents?Firstly, I would submit that this is not an isolated example, and should be considered as a PATTERN to be dealt with, not an individual incident. This certainly isn't the ONLY law this has ever happened with, and it is in fact a rather trivial case. As far as I can tell, one "side" is appalled, and thinks legislators ought to perhaps not vote for bills they don't understand.Another "side" is, I think, best summed up in this bit of song lyric, written by Joanna Walton for Robert Fripp :That is the way it is, because it is that way.It is that way in that it is the way it is.In the way that it is that way, that is the way it is.In the way that that is the way that is the way it is that is it is that wayDoes anyone have any arguments that it is in some way a GOOD thing that legislators create laws, and presumably lawbreakers, without knowing what they are doing or what consequences they will have?(small pause for lobbyists to evaluate whether they're in privileged company enough to speak out safely, and then quietly slink away)I thought not. So the next questions are, what does it cost to tolerate it? what would it cost to remedy it? and who has the authority to see that the appropriate people pay the costs?

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