Archive for Thursday, June 1, 2017

Kansas Legislature passes bill to keep guns out of hospitals

Members of the Moms Demand Action group, wearing red t-shirts, watch a Kansas Senate debate on a concealed carry bill from the chamber's gallery, Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The group favors keeping concealed weapons out of public hospitals and off university campuses, which Kansas law is set to allow starting in July. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Members of the Moms Demand Action group, wearing red t-shirts, watch a Kansas Senate debate on a concealed carry bill from the chamber's gallery, Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The group favors keeping concealed weapons out of public hospitals and off university campuses, which Kansas law is set to allow starting in July. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

June 1, 2017, 9:52 a.m. Updated June 1, 2017, 8:14 p.m.

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Kansas lawmakers passed and sent to Gov. Sam Brownback a bill on Thursday that would exempt publicly owned hospitals, mental health centers, adult care homes and health clinics from having to allow people to bring concealed firearms into those facilities starting July 1.

But the bill would leave in place a requirement that public colleges and universities have to begin allowing concealed carry on that date.

Lawmakers in both chambers said they have been told Brownback has agreed to sign the bill, but his office did not confirm that to reporters.

The Senate took up the bill first and debated more than four hours before voting 24-16 to send the bill to the House. A few hours later, the House voted overwhelmingly, 91-33, to send the bill to the governor.

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, left, R-Overland Park, speaks against an amendment to concealed carry legislation offered by Senate President Susan Wagle, right, R-Wichita, during a debate, Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Wagle's amendment has the backing of the National Rifle Association and narrows a bill aimed at keeping concealed weapons out of public hospitals. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, left, R-Overland Park, speaks against an amendment to concealed carry legislation offered by Senate President Susan Wagle, right, R-Wichita, during a debate, Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Wagle's amendment has the backing of the National Rifle Association and narrows a bill aimed at keeping concealed weapons out of public hospitals. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Those votes came despite strong lobbying by the National Rifle Association to scale back the bill.

The bill would allow Lawrence Memorial Hospital as well as the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and the University of Kansas hospital to continue banning guns in their buildings.

It also applies to state psychiatric hospitals as well as municipally-owned hospitals, indigent care clinics, community mental health centers and adult care homes.

Republican leaders in both chambers had been reluctant to debate gun legislation, saying there were ongoing negotiations between the NRA and groups wanting to limit the concealed-carry mandate, which goes into full effect July 1. But those negotiations failed to produce a compromise that all parties would accept.

Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, carried an amendment that she said the NRA supported and that Gov. Sam Brownback would sign. It would have limited the exemption just to patient-care areas of the KU hospital and the four state psychiatric hospitals, but it still would have allowed concealed-carry in the parking lots and public reception areas of those facilities. Beyond those points, the Wagle-NRA amendment would allow those facilities to require people to store guns in a locker.

“It’s not everything that KU Hospital wanted. They want a gun-free zone,” Wagle said. “But in 2013 we passed a law that said look, our policy is that if you have a state-funded and supported facility, we value the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and if you’re going to put in a state facility, if you’re going to ban guns, then provide security for people who would normally carry a gun to protect themselves and others from harm.”

Supporters of the current law have long argued that gun bans only prevent law-abiding people from taking guns into buildings because “stickers on the door” do not deter people with criminal intent.

But even senators who have strong pro-NRA ratings voted against that amendment, including Senate Republican Leader Jim Denning, of Overland Park.

Denning said the KU hospital and medical school, which are co-located in the same buildings, have to compete both regionally and nationally to recruit top researchers and faculty, and that many would not come to KU if it’s required to allow concealed firearms.

“Let them have their stickers on the door if it makes the folks who work there want to work there,” he said. “It’s about health care. It’s really not about anything more than that. It’s working fine.”

Wagle touted the amendment as a compromise, adding that the NRA didn’t need to negotiate because the Legislature passed its bill in 2013. But Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, said it didn’t meet the definition of “compromise” because the NRA was the only party that agreed to it. Neither KU, the Kansas Hospital Association nor the community mental health clinics supported the proposal.

The Wagle-NRA amendment failed, 16-24.

Wagle said during the debate that she has been told that Brownback will veto any bill other than the one backed by the NRA. But Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee where the bill originated, said Brownback had committed to signing that bill, if it comes out of the Legislature clean, with no other amendments.

The Ways and Means Committee, which typically deals with budget issues, initiated the gun debate after the Department on Aging and Disability Services requested $25 million over the next two years to install metal detectors and security guards at the four state psychiatric hospitals. That cost figure was later reduced to about $12.5 million, plus ongoing operational costs.

Under a law enacted in 2013, publicly-owned facilities other than K-12 public schools must either allow people to carry concealed firearms or provide adequate security to prevent anybody from bringing weapons into those buildings. The governing bodies that manage those buildings were allowed four years to come into compliance, a window that expires June 30.

During lengthy debate, the Senate also rejected an amendment that would have extended the exemption for public college and university campuses.

Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, whose district includes the Kansas State University campus, said he supported the idea, but voted against the amendment because it would have killed the bill’s chances of passage.

But Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said she had to support it.

“My district includes the University of Kansas campus, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center,” she said. “All of them are important to me. Representatives of all those facilities have urged me repeatedly to work against the bill that was passed four years ago. ... It’s impossible for me to choose between my constituents.”

That amendment failed on a vote of 5-29. Sixteen senators did not cast a vote on the amendment.

The Senate put the language of its bill into a House bill that originally dealt with the city of Valley Center and its desire to deannex a publicly-owned cemetery, a legislative maneuver known as “gut-and-go.”

That meant that when the Senate sent the bill over to the House, the full House could simply vote to concur with the Senate change.

Strong gun-rights supporters in the House attempted to thwart the move by seeking to send the bill to a conference committee, which effectively would have killed the bill. But it was evident early on that they were badly outnumbered in the chamber.

Rep. John Whitmer, R-Wichita, joked about that when he spoke in favor of a motion to kill the measure.

“To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, I apologize for what has happened to you in previous years, when Republican conservatives were in the majority, because this sucks,” Whitmer said.

Rep. John Barker, R-Abilene, who chairs the Federal and State Affairs Committee that considered a similar bill, voted in favor of passing it Thursday, even though he did not push to move the committee’s own bill during the session.

“It was a tie vote. I was the deciding factor, I chose not to vote because I wanted to work some compromise,” he said after the vote. “That did not happen.”

Although Republican leaders had been saying for weeks that the NRA was negotiating on a compromise, Barker said its lobbyists never approached him, even though he chairs the committee that deals with gun issues.

Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, said she was pleased with the outcome, even though the bill does not include an exemption for college and university campuses, which she strongly supports.

“That’s a totally separate issue,” she said after the vote. “It’s a big bite to think all of that’s going to happen.”

Ballard also suggested there may be another vote before the session ends to exempt higher-education campuses.

“It probably won’t be an easy one, but I will say to you there will probably be some vote on campus carry,” Ballard said.

Comments

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says gun-rights advocates and representatives for the state's hospitals couldn't reach agreement on a legislative proposal aimed at keeping concealed guns out of state hospitals and other public health care facilities."

Translation: The NRA says we want guns in hospitals, so there is no compromise.

Steve Hicks 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Someone please tell me why our public institutions have to "negotiate" with a political pressure-group what state law will be, in state-owned and -funded facilities ?

Ray Mizumura 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe they don't have to, Steve. Maybe they chose to do so. And if they did, they made the right decision. To hell with this gun law. It achieves nothing positive for this state. It is not about the 2nd amendment. It is about ideology and intimidation.

Richard Neuschafer 5 months, 2 weeks ago

With the NRA as a member of ALEC our ultra-conservative legislators are getting another person in the form of Travis Couture-Lovelady to give orders from the Koch policy network along with KPI prostitute Dave Trabert and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. No one in our government has any business negotiating ANYTHING with the NRA, KPI, the Chamber of Commerce, or any other of these corrupt organizations. Show them the door and let them know they aren't welcome.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, since it's legal to openly buy politicians in our country, you are technically correct. But they are immoral and hypocrites.

http://time.com/4431356/nra-gun-control-history/

Armen Kurdian 5 months, 2 weeks ago

You mean like the ACLU or a host of other left-leaning organizations? It's a good thing there are people out there smarter than you fighting against this tide to take our guns away. I don't think guns need to be in hospitals, that doesn't make the NRA immoral.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 2 weeks ago

There is absolutely NO TIDE TO TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY!!!!! I'm sorry to shout at you, Armen, but this is an emotional straw man that you guys use to exaggerate the reality that guns ownership is not in danger of being attacked. The reality is that you guys cannot, in any way, show that there is any way on earth to make people be responsible with their guns. You've lauded the Kansas "plan" that allows nearly everyone with bucks to be a gun owner, with no training or certification that makes sense.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I believe it ought to be a law that every citizen should be made, by law, to own a gun, less those who can be verifiably proven to be of unsound mental states. The Government should be made to provide the financing for a gun for everyone. You want guns, then do it right.

Then, after that happens, report back to us how well that works.

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

You can't be serious that there are not governments, politicians and organizations that want to take away the right to bear arms.

NPR recently had an article about gun control advocates taking the battle to the ballots. Rights are not often stripped in one swell stop, but incrementally. CA proposed background checks to buy ammo. If you are against voter ID you must be against this too because it makes owning a gun more difficult.

There have been over 24,000 pieces of gun control legislation in the last 25 years.

I suppose if you don't believe there is a movement to take away guns the. You don't believe there is a movement to ban abortions.

Get real there are those that want to ban guns like they do in Australia. Heck Hillary even admitted that is the model.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, they do want to take guns away from mentally ill people and terrorists. Which one are you, Brock and Armen? And John Whitmer. He shouldn't have a gun. He thinks he can intimidate young women legislators.

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Dorothy, as a mature woman and former educator I expect better from you. It would seem like you could debate an issue without resorting to juvenile name calling and innuendos. Why was it necessary to suggest that we are mentally ill or terrorists?

Does it bring you pleasure to insult people? Maybe I give you too much credit but I'd like to think you can do better.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh aren't you so condescending, Brock. I've heard all the insults from you conservatives for the last eight years, and you guys can put it out, and can't take it. Suck it up. This woman is old enough to say what she wants.

No one is coming for your guns. No one was ever coming for your guns. No one is coming for my guns. Get over it. I would gladly register every gun I own. I would gladly take a mental health survey to see if I should have a gun, or if I'm planning on suicide or mass murders. Why are you afraid of it? When they wrote the 2nd Amendment there was a low population. There were probably crazy people, but even if they were going to shoot someone, they could be tackled after the first volley, before they could reload.

They couldn't get guns and ammo and kill the mother that was stupid enough to teach her mentally ill son how use those guns, then go kill a bunch of children. And If the teachers had been armed, he would have killed a bunch anyway. There were no guns in schools and hospitals when I grew up, and few people, unless they hunted even owned guns. If people were mentally ill, their families would make sure they didn't have guns.

You support politicians who have cut and cut money for mental health services and you want to arm everyone. What is there to discuss? How many are going to die next?

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Wow, Dorothy, yes, you can insult me and others and you do it frequently, but the insults just reflect poorly on you.

I've not insulted you and yes, I can take it. You also have shared enough about your past life for me to have some empathy for you and understanding of why you do what you do.

Carry on and do whatever it takes to get you through your day.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

So you just want to attack me and not discuss the issues? Why do you want people in hospitals to have guns? Are you really that afraid? Do you stay at home and not attend public events, because you are so afraid of someone shooting you?

Instead of being offended why don't you address my point? Do you or do you not support people on drugs, just out of surgery having a gun on them? Do you support a usually calm, nonviolent man who has just lost his wife, and thinks it's the doctor's fault to have a gun in his moment of despair? Do you think it's good to for someone to have a gun if they are there, because they are contemplating suicide? What is your position?

And who exactly is coming for your guns? Who came for your guns when Obama was president? Tell me your personal experience of how your guns were ever threatened?

People, both conservatives and liberals have said that we shouldn't let people with mental illness buy guns. Every time there is a mass shooting (unless they are a Muslim), far right conservatives blame it on metal illness. Yet, conservatives cut funding for mental health services. And yes, a mentally ill person could buy a gun illegally, but they are less likely to be able to find these kinds of connections, so it is less likely. Do or do you not believe mentally ill people should be able to buy guns legally?

I just don't understand why anyone, you included, would support allowing mentally ill people and terrorists having guns. How does this affect you, if you aren't mentally ill or a terrorist? I do consider terrorists an insult, but I don't consider being mentally ill an insult. It's an illness. And your (gasp) offense, just shows me what you think of the mentally ill. My father was bipolar, and my mother made sure there were no guns in our house. My father would have preferred not to be bipolar. He was a very unhappy man, but it wasn't his fault, it was his diseases fault.

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I did not attack you and I was discussing the issue until you asked me if I was mentally ill or a terrorist. How does asking me if I am mentally ill or a terrorist promote a civil discussion.

Also, you like to put words into my mouth. You start the discussion with false statements which is a,in to lying. Try being civil, honest and respectful and I will gladly discuss any issue with you.

I do not support the mentally ill possessing guns and would like our reporting system strengthened to make sure those who are mentally ill are reported to the background check database so they cannot buy guns.

Of course terrorist should not be allowed to own guns, but you cannot deny someone a right based solely on suspicion. Everyone is entitled to due process.

Obama and others have tried to make it more difficult for a law abiding citizen to buy guns, states have retroactively made guns illegal effectively making the owner sell the gun out of state or own it illegally.

The Brady group and Others do want to ban guns. California and other states have banned previously legal guns effectively taking those guns away from law abiding citizens.

At least you admitted that you tried to insult me. That is a start on having civil conversations.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It's a relief that you don't want mentally ill to have guns, but some 2nd rights people think it's okay. Sorry, I lumped you in with them. Even the Brady group doesn't want to totally ban guns. They just want to make it harder for just anyone to have them and registration. Also required training. Real training. I promise not to stereotype you, if you promise not to stereotype the Brady group.

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This is the benefit of civil discussion and disagreement. Based on your comment I went and looked at the Brady Campaign and yes, you are correct their stated agenda is to increase background checks.

Appreciate the info.

Pete Kennamore 5 months, 2 weeks ago

That comment is a new low even for you Dorothy.

Ray Mizumura 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The ACLU fights for the constitution. For you, that may make them a left-leaning organization, but your opinion on this is worthless.

George Blake 5 months, 2 weeks ago

First of all, the NRA did not put the Second Amendment into our Constitution. The Founding Fathers did.

Second, the NRA is backed by the Gun Lobby, manufacturers of guns and ammunition. The five million or so Members don't really fund their efforts. it is almost entirely the Gun Lobby.

Third, you are correct. Stickers are not going to stop someone truly wanting to harm others. But neither will morons with a gun and little training. Most of those doing the shooting are actually fairly smart people. They already have entrance and exit routes marked. They know who can and cannot disarm them. They know traditional and secondary routes to get to the people they want to harm. So, no one with a gun is going to prevent a destructive person either. The best they can hope for is to minimize the numbers, not prevent them.

No evidence has been produced that shows someone with a weapon other than Law Enforcement or Military prevents actions. And depending on the size of the caliber, how many other types of weapons they have, etc. will predict the outcome.

People like you think it will be a shootout at the O.K. Coral. it will not. The offender will have multiples of rounds / weapons. The person(s), if any, in the room with a weapon will have one. They will have little or no training to handle a situation effectively. They may very well panic. They could also already have been tagged by the Assailant and be the first to be shot.

You and others like you have been playing Call of Duty and other online games for too long.

Laura Wilson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Finally, one small spot of sense coming out of our state government.

Clara Westphal 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Now they need to prohibit guns on college and University campuses.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What a misleading headline. This is a bill to keep metal detectors out of hospitals, not guns. If they really wanted to keep guns out, they would follow the guidelines of the current law and do something that actually stops guns from entering.

Ray Mizumura 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't think they have the resources, financial and otherwise, to do as you wish, Andrew.

Justin Hoffman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Not cool with the above comment from you Dorothy. Not cool at all.

Louis Kannen 5 months, 2 weeks ago

To wit,

Who needs a "disco ball" at their next College keg party when you can definitely 'light the place up' with your State's Legislature-sanctioned gun(s. The holes in the walls maybe smaller, but who cares...

   Really...REALLY???

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Your post makes no sense. The party was off campus so the law allowing CCW on campus has no bearing on the outcome of the party. Plus, guns did not do the damage.

Seems to me that alcohol and not guns fueled the people to cause the damage.

Louis Kannen 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Apparently you missed the point. My post is a VERY basic, real-time, connect-the-dots analogy...same immature College-age students carrying guns with absolutely NO verifiable Training nor Licensure REQUIRED, be it on a Campus, a Keg-er, a Dance party...wherever. I just hope you never find yourself having to carry someone off a body-bag, or they you...

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Your analogy is flawed because the law under discussion is about hospitals, regardless of the change to the law on campus carry students 22 and older could possess and carry guns off campus.

Now you may question the maturity of some college kids and I couldn't argue but do we limit the rights of all because some abuse that right? Which other rights do you want to deny because some commit crimes? First amendment? 4th or 6th amendment?

Maybe KU should ban alcohol consumption on and off campus? That will save more lives than a gun ban.

George Blake 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree. Let's get rid of alcohol all together. Especially for Hunters wanting a good time and killing animals for sport. While we are at it, let's ban hunting. Since the NRA thinks that AK-47's are approved Hunting guns, we can kill two birds with one stone. Get rid of Hunters and hunting, get rid of alcohol consumption and AK-47's.

It makes as much sense as your post, right?

KU can't ban alcohol consumption off campus. It can control who comes on to campus with guns and alcohol. It already has banned alcohol on campus. Show me where they allow it, other than official functions?

People are allowed to carry weapons outside of Colleges and Hospitals. Has it stopped anyone? No. Do people want it on campus and hospitals? No. The NRA thinks so. Surveys prove otherwise.

Brock Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

George I realize you were being clever, but you failed because drinking alcohol while hunting is already illegal, and true AK47s mfg after 1986 are banned.

You must take my comment in the context it was offered. I was responding to a comment supporting the ban of guns on campus because drunk students caused damage off campus. My point being alcohol is a far greater contributor to injury and deaths of students than guns.

KU is hypocritical by allowing alcohol consumption on campus at events when it contributes to deaths. You can't say you want to ban guns because students could die, but profit off booze knowing that it could lead to the death of a student.

Yes, I want the rights of all individuals, including students to be protected.

Paul Beyer 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Another workplace tragedy. https://apple.news/AbfWw5jXGSjOR5MvEyJovyQ Further proof of how so many guns make us so much safer. But the gun nuts will now claim that if only more people had guns, this could never happen.

Paul Beyer 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Over 5 hours and not a single gun nut attack on my post? Too bust fondling their guns and other private parts I guess, the really tiny ones like trump has.

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