Gun measures advance in the Kansas House
By Greg Janetka
TOPEKA, Kansas: A series of pro-gun measures advanced in the Republican dominated Kansas House of Representatives yesterday, with the final vote expected today. The measures would expand where concealed weapons can be carried, allow school districts and state colleges to determine who could carry firearms in their buildings, and declare firearms made, sold and kept in the state to be exempt from federal regulations.
One measure would require local governments to either make public buildings more secure or allow concealed weapons to be carried inside. Opponents argued the measure would be expensive for local governments. Under the bill, all public buildings would have to allow for concealed carrying unless signs explicitly excluding them are added, along with security checkpoints at all doors.
Rep. John Wilson (D) offered an amendment allowing guns in the Capitol building - an idea he doesn't support but added to addressed the inconsistency. "If we feel that guns are safe in elementary schools, college campuses, hospitals and mental health centers, we should believe that it is safe for the Capitol," he stated.
Another measure aims to establish that the federal government would have no power to regulate firearms, ammunition, or gun accessories that originate and stay in the state. Attempting to do so would be a felony. House Minority Leader Paul Davis (D) argued that the courts, not legislation, is the proper venue to challenge federal laws. "What we are saying here is that regardless of what happens, we can simply just decide we're going to disregard federal law. I think that sets a very dangerous precedent," he stated.