Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kansas Senate passes bill voiding local gun rules

April 2, 2014, 3:09 p.m. Updated April 2, 2014, 3:56 p.m.


— A Kansas proposal seen by the National Rifle Association as a model for stripping cities and counties of the power to regulate firearms and nullify existing local gun ordinances is on track to clear the state Legislature quickly after the Senate approved it Wednesday.

Senators approved the gun-rights bill, 34-2, sending it to the House. Supporters were engineering a vote in the House by the end of the week, so that the measure could go to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.

The measure would prevent cities and counties from regulating firearms sales or how guns are stored or transported by their owners. It would ensure that gun owners could openly carry their firearms across the state, though local officials still could prohibit open carrying in public buildings.

The bill is being pushed by the Kansas State Rifle Association. Supporters say a patchwork of local regulations confuses gun owners and infringes upon gun-ownership rights guaranteed by the state and U.S. constitutions.

"We want consistency in the law," said Rep. Steve Brunk, a Wichita Republican and the chairman of a House committee that earlier approved a separate but identical bill awaiting action in the chamber.

Brownback said Wednesday only that he'd review the bill if it reaches his desk, but he acknowledged that he's been a strong gun-rights supporter. He's signed gun-rights bills in the past.

Both of Douglas County's senators — Marci Francisco and Tom Holland —voted "pass" on the bill.

Francisco and Holland, both Democrats, said they supported a portion of the bill that added daggers, stilettos, and straight-edged razors to the list of prohibited weapons. Possession of those weapons with the intent to use them against another person would constitute a crime, under the bill.

But both senators said they opposed the portion of the bill taking away local governmental control of gun ordinances.

"I understand that a number of the changes made sense. I remain concerned that it is taking away the authority from municipalities," Francisco said.

Holland said the bill "ignored local governments' wishes on how concealed carry should be implemented."

Four senators voted "pass." The other two were Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, and Sen. Kay Wolf, R-Prairie Village.

Both the National Rifle Association and the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence say 43 states, including Kansas, already significantly limit the ability of cities and counties to regulate firearms, though they vary widely in how far they go. The center says California and Nebraska have narrow pre-emption laws that leave substantial power to local officials and five — Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York — don't expressly pre-empt local regulation.

John Commerford, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, said the legislation being considered in Kansas could become "model pre-emption in firearms law."

Critics of the measure contend local officials know best what policies will work for their communities.

Opposition from some local officials — and the prospects of a lengthy and wide-ranging debate on gun-rights and gun-control proposals — kept House leaders from scheduling a debate on the issue.

But both chambers passed separate versions of a technical bill regulating how law enforcement agencies return confiscated firearms to their owners if they've been cleared of criminal wrongdoing. House and Senate negotiators discussed that bill Wednesday and agreed to add the language barring local gun regulations to it.

The move clears the way for an up-or-down vote on the same package in both chambers this week, with the Legislature's rules preventing lawmakers from offering amendments.

"This body is determined to pass a gun bill that takes away local control and mandates their wishes onto cities and counties, and I think they're going to find any way that they can to make that happen," said Mike Taylor, a lobbyist for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., which bans the open carrying of firearms.

Journal-World reporter Scott Rothschild contributed to this story.


Clark Coan 4 years ago

The hypocrites in the statehouse are trampling on Home Rule for cities but cry "States Rights" when the federals pre-empt state laws and regulations.

Alexander Smith 4 years ago

Once again, Kansas proves how hypocritical the GOP is and the conservatives and how JACK arssed idiots are in office. I have never seen a political party that was SO double standard as the GOP and right wing morons who are "so pro individual rights" and "small government" but YET they go to pass this stupid gun law that strips cities of their rights to govern and BIG government is okay.. as long as THEY DO IT.

I mean how anti-American this law will be, in the article it says "the right to bare arms is more important then a local government to pass is own law".. HELLO STALIN!! GOOD BYE Lincoln.

Conservatives and GOP are the biggest bag of lies, two faced, double standard IDIOTS that exist. Do they realize HOW much of a embarrassment they are to the American Flag??

Steve Jacob 4 years ago

When a vote is 34-2, it's hard to just blame the GOP. I think even Kansas has more then two Democratic state senators.

James Howlette 4 years ago

Yeah, but not enough to defeat this, so better to vote yes and avoid NRA money being used against their next campaign.

James Howlette 4 years ago

States shouldn't be able to amend a federal law. N'est–ce pas?

John Kyle 4 years ago

"Supporters say a patchwork of local regulations confuses gun owners..."

The one's I've met and talked with seem confused from the start.

Jason Johnson 4 years ago

I've been "gunning" for this bill to pass when I first noticed it! Woohoo!!

Sam Crow 4 years ago

Smiths post is typical of his other posts in the past: full of juvenile name calling and lacking substantive points. Everyone he disagrees with is a moron or idiot.

Consider this: What if Lawrence decided to pass a law that says drivers must be a minimum of age 20. Then the city wrote tickets to all the incoming freshmen?

What if Overland Park passed a law that said all liquor had to be carried in the locked trunk of a car, then sat on Quivera Road and stopped cars coming from Lenexa liquor stores?

What if KCK decided that one must be 25 to buy liquor and arrested those 24 year olds that tried to?

The state is now dealing with financing education in a consistent way across the state.

There are some things that require consistency in the state across city limits and county lines

This is such an issue.

James Howlette 4 years ago

What if ridiculous hypothetical arguments were the basis for every law?

James Howlette 4 years ago

I have to wonder why cities actually have governments if they're not allowed to actually decide anything.

Greg Cooper 4 years ago

By that reasoning, it seems simple to me to not allow any municipality or county to make laws and just let the legislature do it all.

How do you answer that, Mr. Crow?

Jason Johnson 4 years ago

I'm for that. Of course, I'm for small government.

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