Archive for Thursday, June 15, 2017

Brownback allows gun bill to become law without his signature

Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Lawrence Memorial Hospital

June 15, 2017, 4:48 p.m. Updated June 15, 2017, 8:48 p.m.


Publicly owned hospitals and other health care facilities can continue banning people from carrying concealed firearms after July 1.

Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday announced that he was allowing a bill to become law without his signature exempting those facilities from a mandate that takes effect July 1 requiring virtually all public buildings except K-12 schools to allow people to carry concealed firearms inside unless there is adequate security to prevent anyone from bringing in a weapon.

“The right to bear arms is essential towards preserving our freedoms and maintaining self-government,” Brownback said in a statement released to the media. “Working to secure second amendment rights, while balancing logistical and safety concerns from state mental health hospitals, I assembled stakeholders to forge a solution. I endorsed an agreement that accomplished this goal.”

University of Kansas graduate student Megan Jones is shown in this file photo from Jan. 26, 2017, testifying at a Kansas Senate committee hearing in favor of a bill to allow colleges, universities and local governments to continue banning the carrying of concealed weapons in public buildings.

University of Kansas graduate student Megan Jones is shown in this file photo from Jan. 26, 2017, testifying at a Kansas Senate committee hearing in favor of a bill to allow colleges, universities and local governments to continue banning the carrying of concealed weapons in public buildings.

“While second amendment advocates concurred, this reasonable compromise was ultimately rejected by health care representatives,” Brownback continued. “Nevertheless, this bill does appropriately address safety concerns at state mental health hospitals. As a result, I will permit House Bill 2278 to become law without my signature.”

The impending concealed-carry mandate is the result of a law passed in 2013. It extended the right of people who are otherwise qualified to own a gun to carry concealed firearms into virtually any public facility, except K-12 public schools.

Local governments were eligible for a four-year exemption to give them time to develop security plans. Most of those waivers expire June 30.

As the deadline for compliance drew near, the mandate became the subject of intense debate in the Kansas Legislature.

Scores of people packed into House and Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee hearings pleading with lawmakers to extend indefinitely the exemptions for college and university campuses, hospitals, nursing homes and mental health centers.

But the National Rifle Association, showing the influence it has in the Statehouse, remained adamantly opposed to any rollback of the 2013 law, and as a result, those bills went nowhere.

The issue remained bottled up until the wrap-up session, when the Brownback administration submitted a budget request for $12.5 million to secure the four state psychiatric hospitals.

That’s when the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which deals with budget issues, introduced its own bill to exempt state and municipal health care facilities.

The law applies to municipally owned hospitals, clinics, community mental health centers and adult care homes. That includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.

It also applies to the University of Kansas hospital in Kansas City, Kan., and the four state psychiatric hospitals in Osawatomie, Larned, Parsons and Topeka.

The alternative plan that Brownback referred to, but which health care advocates rejected, still would have allowed people to carry concealed firearms in parking facilities and public lobbies of those institutions, but it would have allowed those facilities to prohibit firearms in areas that provide direct patient care.

Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, offered that proposal as a substitute to the broader bill, but the Senate rejected that plan, 16-24.

The Senate also beat back several other amendments offered by gun rights supporters that health care advocates said would have weakened the bill.

The bill passed the Senate on June 1, 24-16, which is three votes short of the two-thirds majority that would have been needed to override a veto. It passed the House the following day, 91-33, which is far more than a veto-proof majority.

“It’s a great day for us in the health care business,” KU hospital president and CEO Bob Page said in a video statement released to the media Thursday.

Page and other KU hospital officials had lobbied hard for an exemption, arguing that if the mandate were allowed to take effect, KU would be the only hospital in a seven-county metropolitan region where concealed firearms would be permitted. Officials said that would likely hamper its ability to recruit top researchers, and it could hamper the KU medical school’s ability to attract top students and researchers.

“By allowing this (bill) to become law, it will allow us to continue to do what we’ve been doing, which is to keep weapons out of our organizations, and it will allow us to have the same playing field as all of the community hospitals that are not public facilities.”

— Statehouse reporter Peter Hancock can be reached at 354-4222. Follow him on Twitter: @LJWpqhancock


Greg Cooper 7 months, 1 week ago

Coward. Not even the courage of his (handlers') convictions.

Paul Beyer 7 months, 1 week ago

Brownie sure has a wide yellow stripe down his back. Probably still in shock about the Legislature revoking his tax cuts. Bet the Koch's are busy looking for another puppet to buy.

Richard Heckler 7 months, 1 week ago

The ALEC NRA has spoken ........

Too bad the ALEC took over the NRA and ruined a reasonable family oriented organization. Now the NRA supports violence under all circumstances.

Why did the right wing ALEC thinkers take over the NRA?

It provided an avenue to get around campaign donation limits meaning the more organizations they could force into their ownership the more campaign dough they could acquire. So they also took ownership of as many Chamber of Commerce organizations as possible. And the list goes on .......

Church organizations that don't support women's rights are also big sources of campaign dollars.

And the list goes on .....

Alex Landazuri 7 months, 1 week ago

What a coward. Either veto it and get another defeat or sign it.

Justin Hoffman 7 months, 1 week ago

The good news is starting on July 1st college students will be able to protect themselves from the next alt-left shooter unable to contain his/her emotions from last November's election results.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 months, 1 week ago

Well, Justin, even one of your heroes, Ted Nugent is starting to realize that the trash talk has gone too far, because the violence isn't just going towards Muslims, people of color, women, etc. At least he says he is going to stop. Of course, he was too cowardly to go to Vietnam and get shot at. He talks violence, but then when some nut case takes him up on it, then he changes his tune really fast.

How many of the "joke" memes of Obama being lynched have you shared? How many times did Sanders call his people to be violent, compared to your buddy Trump? How many more times has violence been used in the name of your values, compared to mine?

Justin Hoffman 7 months, 1 week ago

You're listening to those little voices again Dot.

Bob Harvey 7 months, 1 week ago

Dorothy this has nothing much to do with this article. I am always disappointed when people us "not going to Vietnam" to further their point. A quick question. Did you go? If not let's not use this as an argument against someone please.

Michael Kort 7 months, 1 week ago

3,000 people died in the 911 attack on the World Trade Center Towers .

By contrast, in 2016 around 9,855 people died of gun violence in the USA ......over 3 time the deaths of 911.....averaging 27 per day x 365 = 9,855 deaths .

While not as dramatic as terrorists, planes into buildings, fireballs shooting out the sides of the towers, people jumping from the upper floors, the towers thundering down and heroic rescue attempts .......... these are still real deaths and those who are dead mattered to somebody, somewhere .

People who are shot go to the use putting out the welcome mat for their shooter to finish a failed job and the mentally ill don't need guns to attack the hospital staff.......Duhh .

Our police have to be armed with automatic side arms and assault rifles because the criminals have their own automatic handguns and assault rifle weapons .

Children Die in their bedrooms reading a book.......killed by bullets autoshot thru the outside house walls as if they are made of paper .

These are kids that can't just play outside in major cities because who knows what is coming down the street in the next car...........maybe just an idiot sent out to murder ' anyone ' to earn their way into a gangs " trusted membership " ......or maybe a blood feud shooter .

Kids that die in the back seat of moms car in their child seats because an idiot has an automatic weapon and no respect for life .

The NRA has spent their monies WELL..............and intimidated gangs of our public leaders into doing whatever they want despite the number of yearly deaths from gun violence .

I guess that our Congress people will, in the future, be taking along their swat teams with them when they go out to play baseball at some park,.....swat teams who will be doing car checks on others who might be showing up at the park for weapons, etc..

Unfortunately, inter city kids across this country will not get that kind of swat team police protection because it is just financially impractical to try and prevent those deaths of innocent kids......but Congress who approves the sale of automatic weapons and assault rifles to idiots, will be protected....... because the NRA needs them for their own economic protection .

We're going on 16 year since 911 and i don't want to think about the accumulated gun violence death toll since 911.........well.... heck,......why not sell them tanks, RPGs and weaponized drones........there is money to be made and lots of lobbyist work to be done !

Justin Hoffman 7 months, 1 week ago

Approximately 88,000 people die a year from excessive alcohol consumption. You don't seem too concerned about that. Interesting.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 months, 1 week ago

Straw man attack, Justin. The article isn't about alcohol, it's about guns.

Alex Landazuri 7 months, 1 week ago

dont confuse him with the facts Dorothy, he will overheat

Greg Cooper 7 months, 1 week ago

How about the number of kids who die of abuse each year? The number of women battered to death? I can come up with lots of tragedies that can be prevented, but aren't. What's your point? That you want to deflect the argument that you have no excuse for, that's what.

Michael Kort 7 months, 1 week ago

Well Justin,........suicide by an idiot's self inflicted decision to abuse alcohol or any other substance is different than being murdered with a gun fired by another............ditto for cigarette deaths being government assisted suicides ,

Yes, people make money by addicting other people or by serving their addictions and by lobbying the government to allow other people who make bad choices ( which the government then taxes ) to kill themselves miserably, slowly and expensively .

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 7 months ago

Mr. Kort: Police and sheriff deputies are not armed with automatic sidearms. They are either armed with semi-automatic pistols or revolvers. The agency I worked for 30 years issues shotguns and rifles to their patrol deputies, but neither are automatic. Please check your facts.

Calvin Anders 7 months, 1 week ago

Well Justin, if you are going to go nuts with the false equivalencies, let's look at the proportion of people who died after consuming alcohol vs. the proportion of those who died after being shot. Based on some cursory online research gunshot mortality proportions are hundreds, if not thousands, of times higher.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 months, 1 week ago

Who said anything about banning guns?! We want in depth training for those who own guns. We do NOT want mentally ill people and anyone who has been convicted of a violent crime to have a gun legally. Could they get them illegally? Yes. But if they are just pulled over by the police and they find a gun, then they are in trouble. Might prevent a lot of future murders, and if it only prevents one, isn't it worth it? And it would be easier to go after the people who sold the gun illegally. As for mentally ill people, most won't have the capacity to find illegal guns, unless they are trained to shoot them by their mother, who thought it would be a good way to connect with her mentally ill child. Didn't work out well for her or for the kids at Sandy Hook.

And the jerk who shot up the baseball practice might have had his guns confiscated if the charges had been dropped for the assault and the woman, and if the states would grow a pair and start charging people who commit domestic abuse, even if the family member says no. He should have been in jail or in counseling. But, hey, mental health treatment isn't necessary, right?

If you can pass a mental health screening, agree to get real training, I think you can own all the guns you want. Why are you against that?

Brock Masters 7 months, 1 week ago

I agree we need to do a better job of keeping mentally ill people from possessing guns but do not agree with the mental screening and mandatory training.

A simple test of reasonableness of these requirements is if you'd agree to them for other rights? Require at voters expense civics training to vote? Mental health screening to use the Internet and social media. This might have prevented the death of a young man whose girlfriend through social media coerced him to commit suicide.

Many oppose requiring ID to vote because it disenfranchises the poor. Okay, but requiring mental health screenings and mandatory training will also disenfranchise poor people otherwise qualified to possess a gun.

Why don't states, local governments and organizations sponsor free training. I agree training is important, but make it free and accessible. Sure it'd cost, but it'd be worth it.

Kendall Simmons 7 months ago

So are you also in favor of no longer requiring that people pass a test before they can get a driver's license?

And, if you're in favor of free and accessible gun training, then why are you against making it mandatory? Why not combine them?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 months, 1 week ago

Concealed carry people - a question. I went through the course a few years back out of curiosity, but never concealed carry, so I let it lapse. I thought I remembered that if you were conceal carrying and if you get pulled over by the police for a traffic stop, you are suppose to tell the officer that you are carrying and you have a license. Is my memory wrong?

Michael Kort 7 months, 1 week ago

Recently there were two different shootings at UPS Hubs, one in San Francisco ( three dead plus the suicided shooter ) and another one at a facility in the Birmingham Alabama ( Two dead plus another suicided shooter ) be nice to the UPS driver who brings your package as they have a dangerous job .

Let us assume that 1/2 of 1% of all 300 million plus Americans are nuts !...........Gee......that is only at least 1.500.000 people and that is a tremendous market for gun manufacturers who pander to their illnesses .

i honestly get a kick out of people who think that they are The Military Equal Of The Government because they own an assault rifle ? and worship at the church of the 2nd amendment of the holy assault rifle .....which might have been true to its' intent back in 1776........ but has been losing ground ever since its' creation, as all other military weaponry has evolved and is simply too expensive for most people to acquire and to operate . .

Well,......maybe an assault rifle owner would be The Military Equal Of The Government if they also owned ICBMs, an aircraft carrier, an FA1-8, an A-10, an F-15-16 -22 or 35, B-2 or B-52 , an attack helicopter , or if they had their very own Bradley Fighting Vehicle, had their own M1A1 Tank.........and how about having their own missile firing attack submarine, drones or a destroyer .

Michael Kort 7 months ago

MR Bloss,

I have not seen a cop with a revolver in years but there might be some .

I have seen cops with shotguns along with cops with assault rifles at major show downs on TV .

AK47 means " Automatic Kalashnikov " that could fire selectively as either a single shot or as a full auto street sweeper . .

There are M16 and M4 versions that fire one to three rounds selectively .

So........if you were a terrorist or drug dealer which would you want to own and use ?

Glock actually makes a hand gun that also fires selectively.... either one shot per pull ......or automatically up to 33 rounds at one triger pull........crazy !

There are even auto selecting shotguns .

That is enought to make a criminal, a terrorist or a lunatic smile and it is not rocket science that where there is a will there is a way to get one in no checkem gun shows land .

Brock Masters 7 months ago

Interesting but not relevant to what Bloss said. He said cops are not armed with automatic weapons and they aren't.

Modern automatic weapons and AK47s are illegal under any circumstance are illegal for civilians to own so, if as you contend criminals can get them then what good are the gun laws? Based on what you said gun laws only keep guns out of law abiding citizens.

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