Skip to comments.Trio of gun-rights bills up for debate(KS)
Posted on 01/16/2012 7:27:57 AM PST by marktwain
An unlikely trio of House members has introduced an eclectic trio of gun-rights bills one of which is a direct challenge to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other big-city mayors.
With the support and aid of the Kansas State Rifle Association, Reps. Jana Goodman, Connie O'Brien and Jim Kelly came into the session locked and loaded, on a mission to make Kansas legally safer for gun sellers, gun manufacturers and corrections officers who want to conceal and carry.
Its in the Constitution, and that right should be defended for self-protection, Goodman said when asked why she is championing the gun bills.
Goodman, R-Leavenworth, is a gregarious first-term legislator who says she became acquainted with firearms early in life as an "Army brat" in Texas.
Kelly, R-Independence, is a bespectacled banker who is also in his first term. He said while he wouldn't call himself a "gun enthusiast," he does support the Second Amendment.
O'Brien, R-Tonganoxie, is a silver-haired soft-spoken second-termer. Like the other two, she doesn't hunt, but she went through hunter safety training with her son when he was 10.
Id never touched a gun or shot a gun until then," she said. "Later on I went and received my concealed carry license. But that doesnt necessarily mean Im carrying.
All three of them have signed on as sponsors to a bill inspired by multistate sting operations set up by the Bloomberg-led group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
The group's "Delete Online Outlaws" program targeted online gun sellers in 14 states by hiring members of a private investigative firm to tell the sellers they probably couldn't pass a background check and then try to buy guns from them.
According to the group's website, 62 percent of sellers still made the sale, a violation of federal law. The Kansas House bill, which Kelly said was modeled after a similar effort in Oklahoma, would turn the tables on such a sting, making it a felony to knowingly provide "materially false information with intent to deceive the dealer or seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm or ammunition."
Kelly said he introduced the bill at the suggestion of a constituent. He was quick to point out that the bill excludes law enforcement agencies, which still would be allowed to set up stings. While Bloomberg's group only targeted private sellers, the Kansas bill would protect them and licensed dealers, which, as a businessman, Kelly said he thought was important.
"Mayor Bloomberg and the mayors' association that is against guns has hired people to go out and entrap dealers or individuals in weapons sales, and then they use that to implicate them in crimes committed in large urban areas," Kelly said.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns didnt respond to a request for comment.
J.D. Lauer, the owner of the High Plains Gun Shop in Topeka, said he thought the bill was basically unnecessary.
"No, I don't think we need any more legal protection," Lauer said. "As far as I'm concerned, if we abide by the rules and regulations that have now, we're in business."
But Patricia Stoneking, president of the Kansas State Rifle Association, said she supported the bill, if only to keep out-of-staters from meddling in Kansas gun sellers' affairs.
"Let's stop the stings let's stop Bloomberg in his tracks," she said. "He's all about wanting to disarm America completely."
The other two gun bills are sponsored only by Goodman and O'Brien. Stoneking said one of them, the Kansas Firearms Freedom Act, is a clone of others that are being pushed by state rifle associations across the country. It would use the 10th Amendment to strip the federal government of any ability to regulate guns or gun accessories that are made in Kansas and sold only to Kansans. Any accessories imported from other states and attached to the gun such as silencers or laser sights wouldnt subject the weapon to federal regulation either.
The guns would be legally mandated to have "Made in Kansas" clearly stamped on them.
While Goodman admitted there arent many gun manufacturers in Kansas, she said the bill might bring some into the state. She also said it was important to safeguard against more federal regulation.
"It's sort of a state's rights issue," she said.
The third bill would allow corrections officers to waive the training process for a concealed carry permit, much like law enforcement officers can now.
House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said he'd likely have no problem with that bill, but he'd have to take a hard look at the other two. Even so, he said he thought they'd have a good shot of passing in the gun-friendly Kansas Legislature.
"Oh, I think their chances are probably pretty good," Davis said. "I think we held off on concealed carry maybe once or twice, but other than that just about every gun bill that's been proposed has flown through the Legislature."
Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said he wasn't familiar enough with any of the bills to handicap their chances in the Senate. But he agreed with Davis's general assessment on firearms legislation in Kansas.
I was thinking both the House and the Senate have been pretty supportive of gun rights and the NRA," Morris said. "Id anticipate that would continue.
Andy Marso can be reached
at (785) 233-7470
States Rights do work.
Concealed carry did not start at the federal level, it was the individual states that did it.
Just as the states are now putting a stop to Bloomberg's anti-gun operations.
The term "all politics are local" is ever so true.
My state capital is more accessible to me than is Washington D C.