Couture-Lovelady resigns from Kansas House

Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady, a leading supporter of a new law that allows people to carry concealed handguns without training or a permit, resigned from the Kansas House over the weekend to accept a job as a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association.

Couture-Lovelady, a two-term Republican from Palco, in central Kansas, was one of the lead proponents in the House this year of S.B. 45, known as the “Constitutional Carry” law, which removed the requirement that people undergo eight hours of training and obtain a permit in order to carry a concealed handgun, as long as they are not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm.

He was also a sponsor of H.B. 2199, the proposed “Second Amendment Protection Act,” which would have excluded guns manufactured and possessed in Kansas from any form of federal gun regulation. That bill became the target of a “gut-and-go” procedure in which its contents were stripped out and replaced with a bill on an entirely different subject.

But the Constitutional Carry bill did become law, and it was immediately lampooned on the late-night comedy TV circuit, including a segment on “The Daily Show,” in which host Jon Stewart called it a signal that Kansas had ceased to be a national symbol of normalcy.

Couture-Lovelady confirmed in an email that he will become a multistate lobbyist for the NRA. He said Kansas will be part of his portfolio, but he could not say at the time in which other states he would be lobbying.