Skip to comments.Concealed guns issue back in the Legislature
Posted on 02/02/2006 4:55:59 PM PST by heckler
TOPEKA, Kan. - The question of whether Kansas should join most other states in allowing people to carry concealed guns is alive again in the Legislature with some supporters suggesting it will become law whether Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signs it.
The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee heard Thursday from supporters and opponents of the gun bill, which backers say is nearly identical to one the Democratic governor spiked in 2004. In 1997, then-Gov. Bill Graves, a Republican, vetoed a hidden gun bill.
The arguments were familiar. Supporters said that by joining the 46 states with such laws on the books, citizens would be safer. Opponents said there's no reason to have such a law and it takes power from local governments by superseding their right to regulate concealed weapons.
The committee took no action on the bill, although Chairman Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, said he plans to call for a vote next week.
Rep. L. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth, said she hopes the bill can be presented to Sebelius in a form that she will sign, adding, "This is a bill that will become law one way or the other."
In her veto message, Sebelius said she supported Kansans' right to own firearms but didn't believe a concealed-carry law would make residents safer.
"The deterrent effect of the armed citizen is well documented. Criminals fear the armed citizen and the threat of punishment for using a gun in committing a violent crime," said sponsoring Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville. "When you look at other states, permit holders don't commit violent crimes."
But Kelly Johnston, of Wichita, chairman of Safe State Kansas, a coalition of groups opposed to the bill, offered a differing view.
"Proponents of this bill have failed to demonstrate that there is a pervasive and overwhelming problem with our way of life in Kansas that calls out for this kind of legislative reaction," Johnston said. "Crime rates aren't rampant; indeed we have enjoyed plummeting crime rates in Kansas since 1993."
Journey said more than 2 millions Americans are licensed to carry a concealed weapon.
Under the proposal, Kansans who are 21 or older and are U.S. citizens could obtain a permit by filling out an application with their local sheriff and paying a fee of up to $150.
The attorney general's office would issue the permits after conducting background checks to eliminate those with a felony record, a history of mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, or a physical infirmity that would prevent the safe handling of a weapon.
Once past that hurdle, the person would be required to complete an eight-hour safety and training course by a firearms instructor certified by the attorney general or the National Rifle Association.
Journey said the bill would make Kansas among the 36 "shall issue" states, meaning if a person clears all the hurdles, the state must issue the concealed gun permit. At least eight other states have "may issue" laws, giving officials latitude. Two states - Alaska and Vermont - have no prohibitions for carrying a concealed weapon.
Johnston said if lawmakers pass the bill, then they should rewrite it to make Kansas a "may issue" state so the attorney general would have some discretion to reject applications.
Ruff said she wants the bill to require Kansas driver's licenses to carry a notation that the person has a concealed gun permit so peace officers stopping a vehicle would know the driver could be carrying weapon.
But Journey dismissed the idea saying, "I don't see the point in it. It's something we can look at next year."
Gun bill is SB 418
Sebelius? Sign it? Bahahahahaha
"Opponents said there's no reason to have such a law and it takes power from local governments by superseding their right to regulate concealed weapons."
"their right to regulate concealed weapons."
"They" have no right to negate/regulate your second ammendment rights.
Best of luck, Kansas.
Hey Gov...why do you think Americans need 'protection' from our own Constitution?
Make sure you make some noise on this one up there. Don't let them take it down to a "may issue".
Shall not be infringed. Shall NOT be infirnged. Shall NOT BE infringed. Shall NOT BE INFRINGED. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Any questions?
I don't know that concealed carry was viewed in 1787 the way it is viewed in civilized parts of the U.S. today. I think at least the Founders might have thought there should be no need for an honest gentleman to conceal his armament.
That having been said, if a state or municipality regard the open wearing of armament as a breach of the peace, I would say that they must of necessity then allow people to carry discretely. I suspect given a choice, many municipalities would actually prefer the latter.
I'm from Kansas, and I hope a can get a hold of my reps office soon, but I was wondering if any of you knew when this would be coming up for a vote?
"I don't know that concealed carry was viewed in 1787 the way it is viewed in civilized parts of the U.S. today. I think at least the Founders might have thought there should be no need for an honest gentleman to conceal his armament."
Whether there was a perceived need in 1787 or not is irrelevant. The point is the wording of Article II. "...shall not be infringed" means precisely that.
"...if a state or municipality regard the open wearing of armament as a breach of the peace, I would say that they must of necessity then allow people to carry discretely."
Again, utterly irrelevant. It is explicitly and very clearly NOT up to the state or the municipality. The freedom to bear arms is written quite explicitly into the Bill of Rights, without equivocation or qualification.
According the the Founders, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, rights are not "awarded" by the State, they are the birthright of all men, "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.... That to secure these Rights governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Article X, meanwhile, makes quite explicit that the states are barred from assuming powers prohibited them by its textual provisions.
"Shall not be infringed," in other words, means precisely and exactly that. Article II doesn't refer to "concealed carry" nor does it refer to the State's, or the states', preferences in the matter. Those are irrelevant, and there is no "wiggle" room.
The Senate committee will vote next week some time. I expect that it will pass and move on to the senate for a vote some time this month. Then on to the House late this month or early next month. Probably wont' be final till late march or early April.
My suspicion is that given a choice between requiring that people who carry do so openly, or requiring them to carry concealed, many politiciains would rather requirement concealment.
Once again. What "many politicians" would rather is absolutely and utterly irrelevant. Nor is the issue of "open carry" vs. "concealed carry" germane. The only point of relevance is that the citizen's right to keep and bear arms is a God-given right with which the government has no business interfering. Indeed, the very notion of "the government" intruding in the matter perpetuates the mistaken notion that governments exist to regulate citizen activity. Or that they may do so. They do not and they may not, except as specifically and explicitly detailed in the Constitution. That is the purpose and import of Article X.
The ONLY point that bears on the question is that governments exist at sufferance, solely "to secure these rights", "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed", and to protect the rights of the people is the sole purpose for which "Governments are instituted among Men."
That's it. That's all there is. It's not rocket science. It's not even complicated. "Shall not be infinged" means exactly and precisely what it says. Anything which purports to equivocate with respect to that is simply dishonest, legalistic sophistry.
Alas, the nation is awash in dishonest, legalistic sophistry - and has been for more than fifty years. The genius of the Founders was to design a fool-proof system of checks on the power of government and balances in power between its different branches. What they failed to anticipate is that when anyone designs a fool-proof system, society simply provides bigger fools.
I have expressed my opinion!
I may or may not choose to carry myself, but I deserve the right to choose.
Not the gubmint!