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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Bill would allow open carry of firearms in the Kansas Statehouse, according to a Lawrence legislator; measures now go to Senate

March 14, 2013

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— 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.

Comments

guavablues 1 year, 9 months ago

More people carrying concealed weapons in more places does not make me feel safer. Quite the opposite.

Charles L Bloss Jr 1 year, 9 months ago

Are you sure that the bill allowed open carry of firearms in the statehouse? I understood it allowed concealed carry, by concealed carry permit holders. I have no problem going unarmed in the statehouse. Many retired deputies, that I worked with, work in the statehouse and other state buildings armed, but in plain clothes. They are employed by the Capitol Police. I feel safe under their watchful eyes. I do not like going into buildings with no gun signs, not able to carry under the law, and the security is minimal if there is any at all. Most of these are medical buildings owned by either hospital in Topeka. I do not frequent private businesses with a no gun sign.

gatekeeper 1 year, 9 months ago

Cracks me up when people complain about businesses not allowing guns. What ever happened to the rights of the property owner? Just because you want to take our gun everywhere doesn't give you the right to take it onto someone else's property.

I also don't understand the paranoia all the CC people have, thinking they're only safe if they're armed. Yes, there are dangers in society. There's always been dangers and always will be. I refuse to live in fear. Unfortunately, I fear untrained CC people more than any potential dangers out there. The tiny bit of training people get isn't enough. I'm from a military and cop family and know how to use weapons (even though I don't carry any) and know that most have had very little training, unlike the members of my family. No one in my family has a CC permit and don't feel they need to be armed all the time.

Don't try to throw the arguement around how they keep us safer and are trained. Tell that to the lady whose husband shot her while eating dinner recently. He thought he was trained too.

From Shooting Illustrated and the myths of CC: The good news is when these folks show up for a training class, it becomes immediately, if not painfully, obvious they have been getting by on luck for a long time. Unfortunately, too many people feel owning a gun takes care of the personal-protection issue. To paraphrase Col. Jeff Cooper, owning a gun doesn’t make you any more an armed citizen than owning a guitar makes you a musician.

It really is not possible to train yourself. You can practice on your own, but unless you’ve had professional instruction you are likely just ingraining bad habits. A good training course will teach you what to practice and the best ways to do so.

Shooters will often leave a course amazed at how much they didn’t know when they arrived, and that is a positive thing. They are now on their way—they’ve become a student of the gun.

If you are truly serious about defending yourself with a firearm and carrying one on a regular basis, there are several steps you should take. Apply for your CCW permit, purchase a quality firearm, get some training and then practice often.

It’s really not all that complex of a formula, but I’m dismayed by how many folks stop after the first step. When all is said and done, it’s your life on the line—the choice is up to you.

DillonBarnes 1 year, 9 months ago

One can both respect the rights of property owners and still not frequent their establishment. Actually, by respecting the sign (instead of just ignoring it and carrying anyway), he is showing respect towards the business' decision.

23rd Street Brewery has lost my business because of their no concealed carry sign.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

I'd never join any club that would have you as a member.

DillonBarnes 1 year, 9 months ago

It's funny that if we met each other on the street, you would know nothing about me. I'd like to think you'd leave our interaction thinking that I was a nice guy, and I would probably leave thinking the same about you. However, here, with the security of anonymity, you feel free to toss those statements around. I hope you're proud of yourself.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

Seems to me you have a pretty powerful, overriding litmus test based on whether someone packs or not. I hope you're proud of yourself.

Mark Currie 1 year, 9 months ago

I agree with you on the further training part and did so, with a military instructor. Very helpful indeed. My instructor was a retired Light Bird, that not only qualified expert with the Army's std. small arms, but was also an MP at one time, and a firearms instructor. It is amazing to watch him shoot. It is like Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch said, "carrying a gun isn't supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be comforting". That said, I carry everywhere it is legal and choose not to spend my money at places that are posted, except for Dr. office, hospital, etc. Also don't carry in people's homes, unless they know me pretty well and are OK with it.

2xhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

ok, now they're just f***ing with us...

elliottaw 1 year, 9 months ago

You would think they last thing this group of legislators would want in there would be people with guns, lets admit they are not really doing a stealer job.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

One would think that, but one must remember that these guys aren't thinking, they're just adhering to the ALEC/NRA/Koch ideology they get from on high.

Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 9 months ago

Saying this group of legislators is not doing a stellar job is a tremendous understatement.

ksjayhawk74 1 year, 9 months ago

Criminals, the State of Kansas will protect you from Federal prosecution of any gun crimes you my commit. So if you're going to commit a crime with guns; do it in Kansas.

optimist 1 year, 9 months ago

That is exactly not the intent of the law but lest not the facts get in the way. The law will still enforce federal laws that do not conflict with state law.

avarom 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm not worried..... I'll just wear my bullet proof vest, skirt and army helmet to the State House.....

avarom 1 year, 9 months ago

and my kelvar pantyhose........I will be fine....

Ceallach 1 year, 9 months ago

The inmates have taken control of the asylum!

oldvet 1 year, 9 months ago

Colorado... where the convicted child rapists get off with 2-5 years... Rocky Mountain legislators are high.

skull 1 year, 9 months ago

So the person that needs a gun at all times to feel safe is NOT the weak scared adult? I'm confused...

oldexbeat 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh really. Gee. Mature adults in Colcorado are left alone by their government. In Kansas, they want to be told what to do. That doesn't seem mature.

kernal 1 year, 9 months ago

The amoral, ignorant and paranoia induced thinking of some of our elected state legislative representatives never ceases to amaze me. If this passes,it will be costly in so many ways for Kansas.

gccs14r 1 year, 9 months ago

If the lawsuits cost too much money, they'll just cut school funding again to pay for them.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 1 year, 9 months ago

Why would you submit an amendment when you don't even understand what's in your own amendment.? It's rather hard to oppose something when you help them actually expand their demands.

fiddleback 1 year, 9 months ago

I've heard it was a clerical error and not Wilson's.

Lenette Hamm 1 year, 9 months ago

I'll likely come under fire (no pun intended) for this - but I despise guns of all kinds. I know there are people who NEED them in their jobs, but casual carriers "just because"...? My question is this - if you have children in school (for example), and their school isn't equipped with a metal detector, do you really want someone (aside from law enforcement) coming into that school with a gun in their pocket or on their hip??? Geezus.

KevinBacon 1 year, 9 months ago

Your question reveals your misunderstanding of the law. The right question is "do you really think anything short of a metal detector will stop a criminal from bringing a gun into a school?"

Hey, here's an idea for a compromise. How about we keep the signs but change them to say "no shooting people". That way the gun people can still carry their guns for their peace of mind but no one can go on a shooting rampage. Everybody wins!

Mark Currie 1 year, 9 months ago

You have a right to despise guns. I have a right to own and shoot them. And yes I would like to see an SRO at my granddaughter's school. In the absence of an SRO, I would like to see one or two staff members with a cch + additional training, in the school armed. Not just anyone with a cch.

fiddleback 1 year, 9 months ago

Rough day at the office for John-- trying to ensure these dimwits aren't total hypocrites and are willing to apply their principles to their own place of work, but then some clerk's error turns it into one of those national "Kansas: new frontiers in idiocy" stories...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/14/kansas-open-carry-capitol_n_2879387.html

Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Dumb and reckless legislation that is wasting Kansas tax dollars.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 1 year, 9 months ago

I didn't even know that guns HAD nuts! I do think it's somewhat inappropriate to be sharing this activity of yours with the rest of the community. If you must do so, please use complete sentences. We need to create better role models for our children, and you have failed miserably.

skull 1 year, 9 months ago

I thought those with nuts usually didn't need a gun to feel safe.

Joe Hyde 1 year, 9 months ago

Armed lawmakers in the statehouse....

Is there still time to modify this bill so that it mandates concealed carry by conservative Republicans only, but requires open carry by moderate Republicans, Democrats and Independents?

That arrangement would give your average statehouse visitor a better sense of which legislators are honest enough to be trusted.

voevoda 1 year, 9 months ago

Why should the State Legislature oppose open carry of firearms in their building? If they believe that concealed carry makes people safer, because criminals won't try to attack lest they encounter an armed person, wouldn't open carry be an even better deterrent? Legislators can carry weapons and be accompanied by openly-armed aides, and that would certainly deter anyone from approaching them with unwelcome advocacy of, say, union rights or environmental sustainability or women's health care. It's surprising that the so-called "conservative" (radical right-wing) majority in the State Legislature didn't thinkup this move themselves.

fuel_for_the_fire 1 year, 9 months ago

My thoughts exactly, voevoda. Let's all walk around with guns slung over our shoulder. Somebody call LaPierre and get him to demand open carry for all.

fuel_for_the_fire 1 year, 9 months ago

And before the inevitable outcry by some of the resident idiots on this forum occurs, my comment was sarcastic.....One would think this would be painfully obvious, but this IS Kansas, after all.

jayhawklawrence 1 year, 9 months ago

The gun debate illustrates what is wrong with our political system today and what is wrong with Americans in general.

We are being pressured to draw a line in the sand and step on one side or the other. The sides being suggested are "Gun Haters" vs "Gun Fanatics".

Politicians are just baiting us with these arguments while at the same time, they are doing an absolutely lousy job.

We are not going to be able to manage anything in this country if people don't stop taking the bait and getting hooked on the rhetoric.

Personally, I find a lot of things disturbing in what is said by both sides. They seem very extreme to me.

optimist 1 year, 9 months ago

"This bill is not constitutional. You can't trump federal law. Let the postcards come. I vote no," Grant said.

To be accurate, federal law is supreme whereby the federal government is acting in accordance with its Constitutional authority and does not infringe on the 10th amendment, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Realizing that the courts have greatly ignored this amendment for decades and much precedence has been established to that end it is important that we understand that while it is customary to respect prior decisions for the sake of consistency in administration of the law it is not acceptable to allow bad judicial decisions to stand on that basis. All decisions must first adhere to the Constitution even before consideration for precedence is made.

tomatogrower 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey if they are going to allow guns in school, they better allow guns at the state house.

I wonder where our founding fathers would stand on the second amendment if they had to deal with the same guns we have now? I'll bet there would be more details in that amendment.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 1 year, 9 months ago

All bets are off the mark, as all cheap shots. Wondering is not worth merit in this world, unless one is in power. The "wondering individual" will always be shot down or exalted by "we the (silly) people" or shills and lawmakers.

Do you really think that "our founding fathers" would be less in a quandary than we are? Every argument is old, yet made new again. That is why every time in history is the best and the worst of times. There is no real bible of religion or fixed law in government. We must all embrace our opposition, fear and dreams and make sense of it. We must all do our best to reason and carry reason forward, beyond... yet within that fervor of an "idiocracy" created by our aristocracy. We must get past the lies, our ties, and say WHY things are SO freaking MESSED UP...and then figure out a way to do something about it. There are few people in government who aren't purchased or paid in dribs and drabs by those who prop them up within their dreams of grandeur. Where are the laws which protect us from THAT? Our laws are as beaten down and bought as those slaves we have pitied...or all too soon will, or have, become.

JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 9 months ago

Government of the stupid, by the stupid, for the afraid...

oldexbeat 1 year, 9 months ago

Given the fact that more guns equals more shootings -- hope the good guys don't get hit in the state house.

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