Kansas Senate Passes Gun Bill Voiding Local Laws
KSCB News - April 2, 2014 8:58 pm
Kansans may soon see new laws for gun and weapon owners.
The Kansas Senate passed a bill Wednesday, stripping local gun laws and leaving the state in charge.
"There’s certainly different circumstances in different places but I think one of the things that the legislature looks at is trying to be consistent," said Mike Relihan, owner of Bullseye Shooting Range in Wichita.
For example, Relihan said if a gun owner were to drive through the Kansas City-area, they could face up to six different gun laws in that region alone.
"Plus, there are certain cities that might do something within a state that would be in conflict with their state law and makes things difficult," he said.
However, some groups like the League of Kansas Municipalities said the senate’s move is illegal.
"Municipalities have a constitutional right to control things of local concern, and that’s what we’re trying to protect because there are a lot of issues that are not necessarily a statewide concern," said Eric Smith, league counsel for LKM. "Each local municipality, depending on what their constituents, what their citizens believe, make the determination of how something should or shouldn’t be regulated."
Smith said the league does not support or oppose gun control, but they are most concerned about a city’s right to regulate. Also, Smith said the bill may create problems. If passed, cities could not force workers to reveal their concealed carry license.
"We have issue with that because we can envision where, if someone as a supervisor happens to see that someone’s carrying a weapon, we believe it becomes a personnel issue as to where that person’s legally able to do that or not," Smith said. "And this statute, essentially, protects them from having to disclose that fact. That was our main objection to the bill."