Topeka Cities and counties would no longer be able to regulate firearms in their communities — such as restricting the open carry of a 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 preempt the 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.
Shultz said protecting the fundamental right to bear arms was more important than local control.
State Sen. Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City, responded saying, "There is a basic fundamental right that every citizen needs to feel safe."
Pettey proposed an amendment to exempt libraries, community centers, and mental health centers from concealed carry of guns, but that failed on a voice vote.
A final vote on the measure is expected Wednesday. If approved, it would go to the House for consideration.