TOPEKA — A bill that bans use of state money to advocate for or against gun control won approval in the Kansas House and was sent to the governor Tuesday.
The measure passed 83-28.
It’s intended to block local and state government from hiring lobbyists to advocate for gun control. But it could also prevent the state from advocating on behalf of the state if federal lawmakers were to debate gun restrictions.
The debate touched on First and Second Amendment rights. Wichita Democratic Rep. Nile Dillmore said the law will probably be presented as a political victory for gun rights advocates.
But he warned that it sets a precedent that could lead to bans on advocacy related to religion, race and gender.
“You’re just one more step away when you go down this road,” he said. “This is a very undemocratic and very foolish piece of legislation.”
Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, said the bill doesn’t block free speech, just the government funding of advocacy for gun control.
“This really is a broad statement of principle, and that’s about the gist of it,” he said.