Topeka The House approved bills on Thursday that aim to prevent federal regulation of guns made in Kansas and may allow people to openly carry firearms in the Statehouse.
Passage of the measures was expected, but the surprise came when a Lawrence legislator said his amendment to one of the bills had an error that would allow the open carry of firearms in the Capitol.
"This is not an insignificant mistake," said state Rep. John Wilson, a Democrat.
On Wednesday, during debate on House Bill 2055, which expands the concealed carry of firearms, Wilson had an amendment that he said would allow concealed carry license holders to carry their weapons concealed in the Capitol.
Wilson, an opponent of the bill, argued that since supporters of the legislation were expanding the possibility of concealed weapons in other public buildings, it should be allowed in the Statehouse.
The amendment was approved.
On Thursday, as the House took final action on the measure, Wilson said a technical error in the amendment would allow the open carry of firearms in the Capitol.
The House went ahead and approved the bill, 84-38. Wilson voted against it.
Under the bill, concealed carry license holders would be allowed to carry their weapons in city, county and state buildings that don't have adequate security, such as metal detectors and guards.
Universities, state-owned hospitals, nursing homes, community mental health centers and safety net clinics would be exempt from the law for four years.
But under another provision, universities and schools could decide whether to allow employees to bring their weapons to work.
The most heated debate came on the so-called Second Amendment Protection Act, House Bill 2199, which was approved 94-29.
The bill says 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. And under the bill, federal authorities trying to enforce any kind of rule on such a firearm would face possible arrest and criminal charges.
Several legislators said pitting local law enforcement against federal officers would set up a dangerous situation and jeopardize the public.
State Rep. Bob Grant, D-Frontenac, said the bill had nothing to do with protecting the Second Amendment but was a "postcard vote" that would be used in the next election.
"This bill is not constitutional. You can't trump federal law. Let the postcards come. I vote no," Grant said.
Both measures now go to the Senate for consideration.