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Marc Bennett disputes Kevin O’Connor’s implication that he’s ‘anti-gun’

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, July 27, 2012, at 6:50 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, July 27, 2012, at 6:51 a.m.

Sedgwick County district attorney candidate Marc Bennett said Thursday that an implication by his opponent, Kevin O’Connor, that he is anti-gun is not correct.

An O’Connor campaign mailer that went out this week said Bennett “has not spoken out while (Nola) Foulston has promoted anti-gun agenda.”

Foulston, who is retiring as DA, was asked last August by County Commissioner Richard Ranzau to give her opinion on a proposed resolution to allow concealed-carry guns in some county buildings.

In a letter dated Aug. 24, 2011, Foulston said the resolution should not be adopted because “it does not advance public safety and welfare; it jeopardizes it.”

The commission passed the resolution a week later.

A snapshot of Foulston’s letter, including her signature, is included on the mailer.

Bennett, a deputy DA under Foulston, said the mailer is correct in that he didn’t speak out on the issue.

“I didn’t weigh in because that’s not my role to weigh in on things like that,” Bennett said.

“But this notion that because I didn’t hold a press conference that readers are to read the inference that I’m anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment type of person, that’s laughable.”

He said he is a member of the National Rifle Association and hasn’t missed an opening day of pheasant season since he started hunting in 1979.

“I have no issue with concealed carry,” Bennett said. “As to (allowing concealed carry) in county buildings and on county property, that’s for the County Commission to make the rules. The DA doesn’t make the law; the DA enforces the law.”

O’Connor said, “All I’m saying, he has not spoken out against his boss’ policy, and his boss is one of his biggest supporters.”

Bennett and O’Connor, a former deputy DA under Foulston, are running in the Aug. 7 Republican primary.

There are no other candidates, so the GOP primary outcome will determine who is the next district attorney.

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