Victory for Gun-Rights Proponents as Open-Carry Bill — Possible Nationwide Model — Approved by State’s Lawmakers
Kansas legislators gave final approval Saturday to a bill that would nullify city and county gun restrictions, ensuring that it’s legal across the state to openly carry firearms, the Associated Press reported.
The measure — which the National Rifle Association sees as a nationwide model for stripping local officials of their gun-regulating power — was approved by the state House, 102-19, a day after the Senate passed it, 37-2.
Kansas state Rep. Jim Howell, right, a Derby Republican, speaks to John Commerford, left, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, as state lawmakers negotiate over the final version of gun-rights legislation, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Howell is the main author of legislation to strip cities and counties of their authority to regulate guns.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback hasn’t said if he’ll sign it, but he’s a strong supporter of gun rights and has signed other measures backed by the NRA and the Kansas State Rifle Association.
Kansas law doesn’t expressly forbid the open carrying of firearms, and the attorney general’s office has in the past told local officials that some restrictions are allowed. But the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., has prohibited the practice, and the bill would sweep any such ban away — except to allow cities and counties to prevent openly carried weapons inside public buildings.
The measure also would prevent cities and counties from enacting restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition, or imposing rules on how guns must be stored and transported.