Thursday, March 19, 2015

KS: Constitutional Carry Passes House Committee

The Kansas House Committee on Federal and State affairs has passed SB 45, the constitutional carry bill, to the full House today, the 18th of March, 2015.  This bill is one of several constitutional carry bills moving in state legislatures around the country.  A similar bill is sitting on Governor Tomblin of West Virginia's desk.  It passed with large veto proof margin in both houses.  From my reading of West Virginia law, we should find out the fate of that bill on Friday.

The Kansas bill, SB 45 is about half way home.  According to the chart of how a bill becomes a law(pdf) in Kansas,  the next step is for the bill to go before the committee of the whole in the House, where it will be subject to amendment.  If it is not amended, and it passes, it would then be subject to a final vote before the entire House, and be sent to the Governor.  If it is amended and passes, it would be sent back to the Senate.

The bill is supported by the Kansas State Rifle Association, The National Rifle Association, and The National Association for Gun Rights.  Opposition to the bill came from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Kansas Grandmothers Against Gun Violence, and the City of Overland Park.  Private citizens testified on both sides.

Prospects to pass the Committee of the Whole and the House look promising.  There are 97 Republicans and 28 Democrats in the House.  If SB 45 passes the House and goes to the Governor, this will be the third year in a row that Governor Sam Brownback has been presented with gun law reform legislation.  He signed a previous bill in April of 2013 and a year ago in April of 2014.  Prior to the approval of the House Committee, the NRA had this to say about the bill:
This legislation gives Kansans the freedom to choose the best method of carrying for them, based on their attire, gender and/or physical attributes.   However, this legislation would also keep in place the current permitting system so that people who obtain a permit could still enjoy the reciprocity agreements that Kansas has with other states and their NICS exemption when purchasing a new firearm.  
Kansas is leading the way in legislation reform to remove infringements that have been added over the last hundred years.  There is an appropriate historical balance here, as it was Kansas that created and promoted the theory of the second amendment as a "collective right" out of thin air, in a Kansas Supreme Court decision in 1905.   Kansas was in the forefront of the "progressive" movement then, which sought to increase government power.  Now it is in the forefront of progress to restore constitutional restraints.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

 Update: The West Virginia budget session ended today, on 19 March.  Governor Tomblin now has until 4 April to sign, veto, or ignore SB 347, the constitutional carry bill in West Virginia.

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