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Kansas House passes gun bills, moving them to Senate

  • Eagle Topeka bureau
  • Published Thursday, March 14, 2013, at 12:36 p.m.

— Kansas-made guns and ammunition would be immune from federal law, school boards could let select teachers carry weapons and, because of a legislative error, licensed Kansans could openly carry firearms in the state Capitol under a series of bills approved by the House on Thursday.

The bills now move to the Senate.

Under House Bill 2055, known as the Personal and Family Protection Act, local governments would either have to have security checkpoints at public entries or allow Kansans with concealed carry licenses to bring weapons inside.

It passed in an 84-38 vote.

Rep. John Wilson, D-Lawrence, said he wanted to let concealed carry licensees take weapons into the Capitol since they would be allowed to carry in many other public places. But he said a technical error in drafting the bill allows open carry, a mistake that he said warrants more debate.

“This is not an insignificant mistake,” he said. Wilson opposes the bill overall.

Rep. Don Hill, R-Emporia, said he supports the state’s current concealed carry law — not proposed changes — and he suggested Kansas take a deep breath and use common sense.

Supporters of the bill said Kansans would be safer if the state allowed responsible and licensed Kansans to carry weapons into most public buildings.

Under House Bill 2199, known as the Second Amendment Protection Act, Kansas-made guns and ammo would be immune from federal laws, and state officials could arrest and prosecute federal agents that try to confiscate Kansas-made weapons.

Opponents said it’s unconstitutional because federal law trumps state law.

But supporters say the state needs to protect its gun rights and that the state has a right to regulate locally-made weapons within its borders.

It passed on a 94-29 vote.

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