The Kansas State House of Representatives gave their approval on Saturday to HB 2578 which provides for state preemption of local ordinances and regulations regarding both knives and firearms. It also overturns restrictions on open carry by the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City (KS).
The vote in favor of passage of the conference committee substitute was 102 in favor with only 19 opposed. On Friday, the Kansas State Senate approved the bill 37-2. The bill now goes to Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) who has traditionally been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights.
Kansas law doesn’t expressly forbid the open carrying of firearms, and the attorney general’s office has in the past told local officials that some restrictions are allowed. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., has prohibited the practice, but the bill would sweep any such ban away, except to allow cities and counties to prevent openly carried weapons inside public buildings.
The measure also would prevent cities and counties from enacting restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition, or imposing rules on how guns must be stored and transported. Existing ordinances would be void, and local governments couldn’t use tax dollars for gun buy-back programs.
According to a summary of the conference committee report, the bill would also remove the arbitrary discretion from chief law enforcement officers to deny NFA transfers, it would forbid municipal governments from requiring disclosure of carry permits by their employees, and it extends the prohibition about carrying under the influence to all methods of carry.
The bill was strongly supported by the Kansas State Rifle Association, the NRA, and the American Silencer Association. As you can imagine, the gun prohibitionists are full of sour grapes over the passage of a strong bill that could be a model for other states.
But Jonathan Lowry, director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s efforts to defend gun control policies in court and oppose the lessening of existing regulations, called the Kansas measure “undemocratic.”
“The gun lobby likes to prevent people who believe in sensible gun laws from having a say in protecting their own communities,” Lowry said. “It’s cynical, and it’s dangerous public policy.”
No word on any organized opposition to the bill from (former) Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors or the Kansas Chapter of the Demanding Mommies.
Kudos to the Kansas State Legislature for passing such a strong bill that includes both firearms and knives under its preemption requirements.