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Archive for Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kansas Senate advances bill voiding local gun rules

April 1, 2014, 12:30 p.m. Updated April 1, 2014, 3:33 p.m.

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— Cities and counties would no longer be able to regulate firearms in their communities — such as restricting the open carry of a firearm— under a bill advanced Tuesday by the Kansas Senate.

State Sen. Clark Shultz, R-McPherson, said Senate Bill 447 would make gun regulations uniform across the state and reduce confusion.

But opponents of the bill said the state shouldn’t pre-empt decisions by local officials who are responding to local circumstances.

“Time and time and time again we want to take local decisions away from local government,” said state Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, who opposed the measure.

But Shultz said protecting the fundamental right to bear arms was more important than local control.

State Sen. Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City, responded: “There is a basic fundamental right that every citizen needs to feel safe.”

Pettey proposed an amendment to exempt libraries, community centers and community mental health centers from the concealed carry of guns, but that failed on a voice vote.

A law enacted last year says cities and counties can’t ban concealed guns after 2017 unless they’ve provided adequate security, such as metal detectors and security guards. Pro-gun rights senators said people in libraries and community centers should have no fear of those with concealed carry permits.

The bill won preliminary approval on a voice vote. A final vote on the measure is expected Wednesday. If approved, it would go to the House for consideration.

Douglas County Commissioner Mike Gaughan said the proposed bill is an intrusion on local decision-making.

“Every community in Kansas is unique. Local elected officials know their communities best and should be able to take common-sense steps to keep their community safe,” Gaughan said.

“I hear the howls whenever Congress passes laws that change things here in Kansas, but that’s exactly how local governments see the (Gov. Sam) Brownback Administration and the Legislature. Every time we turn around there’s another budget cut or bill from Topeka undermining the local control cities and counties have traditionally had in Kansas,” he said.

The city of Lawrence has no ordinance prohibiting the open carry of a firearm, said Maria Kaminska, an assistant city attorney. But she said, “We think that any decision on public safety should come from the local governing body.”

Comments

Jock Navels 8 months, 3 weeks ago

howl at the feds about chicken rules... howl at local govt about gun rules. obviously topeka rules. the april fools.

Greg Cooper 8 months, 3 weeks ago

And the beat goes on: smaller government, local control. This is the traditional mantra of the real Republicans. It has been usurped by the ones who now call themselves 'conservatives". What a joke. Except the joke's really on us, the citizenry who have lost the freedom to be in control of our bodies, our economics, and our lives under this cabal financed by the money that's the biggest and getting bigger.

AAI hope you guys and gals in the legislature are enjoying the income you derive, directly and indirectly, from the monied.

Jason Johnson 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Finally some common-sense gun legislation! I support this bill 100%!

Lane Signal 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, it is a shame that the so called "conservatives" in Topeka have seen fit to ignore the idea of local control and self determination. It is a shame that corporate money and campaign contributions are now all that matter in Kansas politics, but the real shame is that laws like these will drive up the body count and put everyone at greater risk, all in the name of more profits for one industry. More people will die and more people will stay at home because more and more people will be carrying guns out of fear and this new law will ensure that no place is safe. Money from the gun lobby is blood money. The legislature is facilitating gun violence in exchange for money. They are, in effect, hired killers.

Jason Johnson 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Revisit this article in 10 years, and you'll find that you're wrong.

Lane Signal 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, I'm quite confident that in 10 years you will still think I'm wrong no matter what happens.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The NRA's "well regulated militia".

At least until two fools open an open running gun battle over a library book.

John McCoy 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The Kansas Senate is as crazy as the Texas Senate. That's saying something. They're going to shoot their eye out. Guy just went postal at Ft. Hood. Again. Just kill anybody you don't like; then tell the Sheriff you felt threatened. No problem. Bang. Bang. What a country we live in!

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