Prairie Politics

Kansas lawmaker gives up seat to take a job with the NRA

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A Kansas lawmaker who helped push through a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit has taken a job with the National Rifle Association.

Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady, R-Palco, successfully carried a bill on the House floor that made Kansas one of six states to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. He announced this week that he would give up his House seat before the 2016 session to take a lobbying job with the NRA.

“Having spent the past few years turning Kansas from a state that was among the last to pass conceal carry to a state that is among the first to guarantee our rights with Constitutional carry, I have the opportunity to take the Kansas model and spread our model effectively to other states,” Couture-Lovelady said in a statement.

He said in a follow-up e-mail that he would begin serving this week as the NRA’s state liaison.

House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, said in an e-mail that Couture-Lovelady “has been a strong advocate for pro-Second Amendment legislation, and his new job will help him continue that work. There are many good things ahead for him and we wish him all the best.”

A Republican precinct committee will select a replacement to represent House District 110 in western Kansas through 2016. Couture-Lovelady said he is committed to helping find a “strong conservative successor who will fight hard for our Kansas values.”

Bryan Lowry: 785-296-3006, @BryanLowry3