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Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gun bill sponsor rebuffs legal concerns

February 21, 2013

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— The chief sponsor of a bill that supporters say will protect Kansas gun owners from federal restrictions has accused the state attorney general’s office of trying to gut the legislation.

Earlier this week, Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, took issue with written testimony from an assistant attorney general who highlighted issues with House Bill 2199, known as the Second Amendment Protection Act.

The bill states that any personal firearm, accessory or ammunition that is owned or manufactured in Kansas and that remains in the state is not subject to federal law. Under the bill, federal authorities trying to enforce any kind of rule on such a firearm would face possible prison time.

And the measure would prohibit doctors — but not psychiatrists — from inquiring whether a patient owns a gun.

In written testimony, Assistant Attorney General Charles Klebe, who is responsible for licensing concealed carry guns, said the office was neutral on the bill.

But he expressed legal concerns with the measure.

“To state the obvious, the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution cannot be waived by state law, and any conflict between a valid federal law and a state law will be resolved by the courts in favor of the federal enactment,” Klebe said.

Klebe said if Kansas officers tried to prevent federal authorities from enforcing federal gun laws, the Kansas officers could face charges of obstruction of justice.

And prohibiting doctors from asking questions about a patient’s firearms ownership raised issues about limiting a physician’s First Amendment right to free speech, he said.

A fiscal note attached to the bill states that the attorney general’s office believes the bill would probably result in multiple lawsuits and could cost the state $825,000 during the next three years.

“The cases would probably have to be outsourced and if the state lost the litigation, it would be ordered to pay the attorneys’ fees of the prevailing party,” the fiscal note said.

Rubin, who also is an attorney, said Klebe was “frankly, dead wrong.”

“The Supremacy Clause does not apply to federal laws, regulations or orders that are unconstitutional,” Rubin said.

Klebe’s suggestions, Rubin said, would make the remaining bill meaningless. The measure has 50 legislative sponsors, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach helped write it.

Jerry Slaughter, executive director of the Kansas Medical Society, testified against the provision that would prevent physicians from asking patients about weapons.

Slaughter said sometimes physicians seek information about guns at home just as a safety precaution when treating patients who may be depressed or taking medications.

Rubin said he could live with dropping that part of the bill, but several members of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee said they wanted to retain it.

Rep. Ken Corbet, R-Topeka, said if he visits a doctor for a sore throat, why would the doctor ask about a firearm? “Why would that even have to come up?” he asked.

Slaughter said it didn’t. He also tried to assure committee members that under the federal Affordable Care Act there was no requirement that a physician ask about guns or that a patient be required to answer.

But several committee members and Rubin said they were suspicious that President Barack Obama would issue an executive order that would require physicians to request that information.

He said the legislation would prevent any gun owned or built in Kansas and remaining in the state from being controlled by “any past, present or future federal law, rule or regulation of any kind.”

Comments

judgerubes 1 year, 1 month ago

Since you asked: I went to Washington University Law School in St. Louis, MO on a full scholarship. (Also admitted to Harvard Law School, among others.) Washington U. ranked at the time in the top 10 law schools in the country. I had the highest law boards in my class. Graduated in the top 10% of my class. Previously graduated from Boston College with an A.B. in Political Science magna cum laude. Subsequently admitted as a member of Mensa. Oh, and a National Merit Finalist out of high school. Former U.S. Administrative Law Judge. Former FDIC Regional Counsel. Former Assistant Regional Counsel for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Graduated first in my class from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA. There's more, but I don't want to use up more of your valuable time. Any other questions? Signed, Rep. John J. Rubin (R-Shawnee)

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ksjayhawk74 1 year, 1 month ago

So they want the Sate of Kansas to protect criminals from Federal prosecution for the crimes they commit involving guns?

Great plan. Criminals, Kansas is the place to commit crimes.

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P76 1 year, 1 month ago

"A Syracuse University study that show firearms prosecutions under President George W. Bush peaked at 11,015 in 2004 while the Obama administration has prosecuted about 7,774 firearms cases in 2012".

Highlighting the crime rise in Chicago, the president’s hometown, the lawmakers pointed out that the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago, is ranked the lowest of all federal court districts in firearms prosecutions despite a surge in gun-related violence.

“In a city like Chicago, which saw 506 murders last year, it is appalling that the U.S. attorney’s office in that jurisdiction only prosecuted 25 federal firearms cases during 2011,” the group wrote.

The letter also points out that of the 76,142 gun permit requests that were denied following background checks by federally-licensed firearms dealers, only 4,732 were referred for prosecution. Of that total, only 62 prosecutions resulted.

What again does Obama do to save the children? Maybe if Obama enforced existing laws on the books, States would not have to jump through hoops and children could be saved from crazies attacking schools.

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Tom Huyser 1 year, 1 month ago

Just an observation after reading these posts. I grew up in Lawrence and loved the life I had there. The diverse population, because of KU made it a quirky, interesting place to live, and many times Ive have thought about moving back. Through out my life since leaving I have encounter several people from other parts of Kansas, and whenever I mentioned I was from Lawrence, I got a cold response. I heard phrases like "snob hill", "wackos" and such, and THOSE were the nicer terms for the people of Lawrence. I could never understand everyones disdane for our great town/city. After reading these posts, and many other posts on the site I have begun to see what the others in the state see. When confronted with a conservative opinion they dont agree with, so many on this site resort to personal attacks questioning the mentality and intelligence of the person. Seldom is the response about the opinion, or even a rebuttle of the that opinion, too often its down to just ridicule of the person. When a minority of the population try to control the majority, and spend way too much time insulting them, after a while the majority usually just ignores them or look at the as so many in Kansas look at the residence of Lawrence. I'm pretty sure that this posting will result in the just very insults and ridicule I had mentioned.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 1 month ago

They don't want to follow any federal regulations, but they want federal money. Kansas is one of the states that get more federal money than they pay in. What's going to happen to all those people who work at the Kansas forts when the Republicans let the sequester kick in. There won't be any money for people to buy things, and the sales tax that Brownnose thinks will save his behind will drop. What a laugh.

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fuel_for_the_fire 1 year, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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lucky_guy 1 year, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Agnostick 1 year, 1 month ago

These extremists already take the "buffet" approach to their Bible, dividing the "Holy Scripture" into three categories:

1) Things I choose to follow in my own life

2) Things I choose for everyone else to follow in their lives

3) Ignore the rest

They've already taken that approach to the Bible... it should be no surprise they're now taking the same approach with federal law. The Constitution will be next.

"Yes, the Second Amendment is sacred! But sum dese uthuh 'mendments? Like this... the 19th? The 13th? We don' need those. Let's pass a state law against 'em!!"

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In_God_we_trust 1 year, 1 month ago

I like the bill, and can see it is a reaction to a federal government intrusion and overstepping of power on the 2nd amendment. Kansas government understands what the 2nd amendment is supposed to limit, not the people, but the government. That is why the Bill of Rights is there, to put limits on the Federal government power in these areas. The Supreme Court statements on rights is in error, not being based on the Constitution or it's intent and attempts to open the door to legislate limitations against the Bill of Rights, thereby making unconstitutional laws, which are no laws. The Kansas bill is in line with and supports the people's rights, using legislation to protect and support the people's rights, stated in the Bill of Rights and the Kansas Constitution.

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Liberty275 1 year, 1 month ago

I really like these state's rights issues being pressed by states writing legislation in spite of federal law. Now you might think this is a waste of time, but if it prevents Kansas law enforcement from assisting the feds then it will have the desired effect of helping to keep the federal government out of state business.

We have major state's rights issues in America right now, and the more states that push back at federal rule pushes the final result towards state's rights.

On a side note, how many of you that think this law is a waste of time think the same of marijuana laws legalizing a federally illegal substance in several states or states that have passed assisted suicide laws despite federal law.?

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costello 1 year, 1 month ago

"Under the bill, federal authorities trying to enforce any kind of rule on such a firearm would face possible prison time."

ROTFL!!!

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fuel_for_the_fire 1 year, 1 month ago

Lynn371: Your doctor lied to you. Doctors are not required to ask Medicare patients about gun ownership. Many doctors will ask about gun ownership but it is NOT a requirement to ask this question of patients who receive their health insurance from the government (i.e., Medicare). You should consider changing primary care physicians to one who doesn't lie.

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globehead 1 year, 1 month ago

Rubin is our resident idiot in Shawnee. His is the same kind of pandering puppet we see across the country in forward thinking hell holes like Texas. They run a state law up the flagpole leading folks to believe it will supercede federal law. I doesn't work to accomplish anything other than waste a monumental amount of time and the money we pay these morons.

“The Supremacy Clause does not apply to federal laws, regulations or orders that are unconstitutional,” Rubin said.

Mr. Rubin should read the entire Constitution. The Supreme Court is given the authority to determine this. His opinions have value in any Johnnie on the Job and that is about it. Of course he is entitled to his opinion. But, he absolutely does not have the authority to determine what is and is not constitutional...thank God and Justice John Marshall!

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Alyosha 1 year, 1 month ago

“The Supremacy Clause does not apply to federal laws, regulations or orders that are unconstitutional,” Rubin said.

Rubin fails to note that since Marbury v. Madison federal laws or regulations or orders are legally judged constitutional or unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.

And then the point is moot as far as state law's go.

Helps to know how the Founders established this country, to avoid making silly statements like Rubins' and those of many commenters.

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autie 1 year, 1 month ago

Epic fail. It only follows that Kobach is involved in this debacle. Why would anybody pass a law that they know up front is unconsitutional and cannot be upheld? Why do educated people think it makes sense? Or do they think they are above it all?

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oldbaldguy 1 year, 1 month ago

I know CW and he is right. I suspect the interstate commerce clause applies if Kansas made weapons are sold across state lines. Washburn has a good law school.

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Joe Hyde 1 year, 1 month ago

Conservative Republicans must keep the state's gun lovers distracted and diverted by this anti-Obama crap for as long as possible. Because once Bubba feels the pain of the money whippin' conservatives have targeted him for, Bubba gonna get mad. And Obama ain't who Bubba's gonna get mad at, either.

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Lynn731 1 year, 1 month ago

I am on medicare. My primary care physician asked me if I owned guns. I told her it was none of her business. She knows I not only own guns, but carry one most of the time. She told me it was a medicare requirement that she ask, and had I answered yes she showed me a slew of other questions I would have to answer. It was a lot of additional questions, so remember you are not required to answer the first question in the positive even if you do own guns. If you are dumb enough to truthfully answer it in the positive, be ready for medicare to ask you lots of additional questions. Been there, done that.

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jafs 1 year, 1 month ago

Well, he's right that the Supremacy Clause doesn't apply to unconstitutional laws. But, the US SC is the body charged with determining that, not the KS legislature.

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inquire 1 year, 1 month ago

Where did Rubin go to law school? What were his marks? He is a moron and I want to make sure none of my employees are from the same institution.

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dabbindan 1 year, 1 month ago

the conservatives think (i know, a bit of an oxymoron) they have themselves a perfectly good bicameral steamroller. it may have limited mileage. they might as well see if they can flatten as many objects as they can while they have it.

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Larry Sturm 1 year, 1 month ago

Who manifactures guns in Kansas who is going to chjeck everybody going out of state if they are carrying a banned gun?

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Katara 1 year, 1 month ago

"Rep. Ken Corbet, R-Topeka, said if he visits a doctor for a sore throat, why would the doctor ask about a firearm. "Why would that even have to come up?" he asked."

Well, the marks around your throat that look like someone, such as a spouse, tried to choke you might make the doctor wonder if there is something going on at the home to cause your sore throat.

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Kevin Haislip 1 year, 1 month ago

i wonder how we are going to vote them fools out ?

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P76 1 year, 1 month ago

It's sad the hoops needed to jump through to keep Obama and his Feds from harassing you. They are like immature adults.

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voevoda 1 year, 1 month ago

"The cases would probably have to be outsourced." Aha! This is just a way to channel state money into the pockets of Kobach's private attorney friends. $825,000 of our tax money paid out to fat cat lawyers.

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verity 1 year, 1 month ago

They're just running around like undisciplined little children, thumbing their noses at everything and everybody. That constant smirk on Kobach's face says it all.

And they're getting by with it.

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verity 1 year, 1 month ago

I am just amazed that they can keep coming up with more totally idiotic crap. Got to give them credit for that. I mean it just goes on and on and on. I'm not nearly that creative.

Kansas: 2013 Home of the legislature with the largest number of stupid and inane bills proposed ever on earth anywhere, anytime.

Maybe they're trying for the Guinnes Book of Records?

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tomatogrower 1 year, 1 month ago

These people could care less if emotionally unstable people have guns. Heck, the president of NRA has a son in prison for shooting at a driver in a road rage incident. He will probably promote guns for felons, when his son is released.

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Keith 1 year, 1 month ago

"Klebe's suggestions, Rubin said, would make the remaining bill meaningless. The measure has 50 legislative sponsors, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach helped write it."

Well there you have it, if Kobach helped write it you know it will pass muster, after all he's never had any adverse rulings on any of the bills he's helped so many OTHER states to write.

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Centerville 1 year, 1 month ago

"We don't even let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?" -- Stalin

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jimmyjms 1 year, 1 month ago

Absolute insanity. Rubin is a moron.

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question4u 1 year, 1 month ago

"To state the obvious...," Klebe said.

Sorry Mr. Klebe. Have you forgotten that this is Kansas? Logic doesn't apply here. $825,000 in defense of indefensible laws doesn't matter. Our extremist legislators are perfectly happy to spend public funds defending unconstitutional laws. Infringing on doctors' right to free speech won't bother many in the Legislature either. Freedom of speech is nothing compared to your right to sell guns to mentally unstable individuals without interference from the federal government.

The Legislature should definitely pass a law that sneers at the federal government and the U.S. Constitution. After all, how is Kansas going to get businesses to flock to the state and create that promised prosperity if Kansas doesn't look like a stronghold for anti-American wackos? There are still a few people in faraway places like New Zealand who don't yet have the idea that most Kansans hide out in their backyard bunkers gripping assault rifles and Bibles open to The Book of Revelation. This proposed law could really get the stereotypes cemented in place. Just get Virgil Peck to crack a few more jokes about murdering immigrants and everyone is going to want to move here.

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