Legislative Update 2 - Guns

Yesterday in the House there were 2 bills related to guns:

The first, HB 2042, was yet another gun-law-loosening bill, this one instituting so-called concealed carry reciprocity between states, meaning that if someone has a carry permit in another state they are allowed to carry in Kansas. This was basically a tactic to get the carry age in Kansas lowered to 18, because the next step from allowing 18 year olds from other states to carry in Kansas was: if they can do it there why can't they do it here?

There were a couple of interesting amendments. Rep. Ballard proposed an amendment rolling back concealed carry on college and university campuses. This was the discussion we wanted last year. The amendment failed, unfortunately.

Rep. Aurand, who is pretty conservative, then proposed an amendment to require concealed-carry permitting for anyone, of any age, carrying on a college campus. The amendment passed fairly handily, meaning there were some legislators who voted for this one who had opposed the Ballard amendment.

So where that left this was that, if the bill as amended goes into law, 18-20 year olds will be allowed to conceal carry; on state university campuses, concealed carry for anyone, of any age, would require a permit. (To be clear, up to this point campus carry was 21 and over, no permit required.) The bill passed the House that way.

Some of our friends ended up voting for the underlying bill because they thought that having permitting for campus carry was better than what we have now. The bill got 20+ moderate and liberal votes for a gun-loosening bill that it would never have gotten otherwise. However, Moms Demand Action opposes the underlying bill, because it means that more people, and younger people, will have access to guns, both on campus and in the state generally.

The bill will go to the Senate, and we understand that the calculus some legislators make might be different, but we're encouraging a no vote on 2042. However, if it's going to pass, the Aurand amendment has to be included -- the NRA will be trying to get it out. 

The second bill (HR 2145) would restrict the ability of those convicted of domestic violence offenses from owning guns. It adds them to the “restricted” category in the law. This was the highest legislative priority of Moms Demand Action this year, and it passed by a voice vote. JoElla Hoye of Kansas Moms told me that this legislation will lower the fatality rate in domestic violence incidents by 1/3. So there's some very good news!


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