Friday, April 5, 2013

Gun rights bills on target for final passage

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

Two gun-rights measures were nearing final legislative passage on Thursday.

One bill would declare that federal law would have no authority over guns owned or manufactured in Kansas.

As the so-called Second Amendment Protection Act was approved in the House, it would have allowed local law enforcement to arrest any federal authority trying to enforce action against a Kansas-protected gun.

Some legislators said that could lead to dangerous standoffs between Kansas and federal authorities.

Both the Senate and House negotiators agreed to changing that provision to allow locals to serve federal authorities with charges but not physically arrest them.

Sen. Jay Emler, R-Louisburg, explained the difference as, "You can charge … but you can't handcuff them."

Supporters of the change said it was agreed to by the attorney general's office and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The other bill would permit public schools and state colleges to arm employees with concealed guns.

In addition, schools, colleges and local governments couldn't ban concealed guns without security measures in place.

Gun rights advocates sought passage of the bills in reaction to calls from federal officials for more gun control laws following December's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.