Gun Bills in Kansas Senate Today- What You Need to Know

At 10:30am today, there will be hearings on 2 gun bills- HB 2042 and HB 2145 – in the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee Room 144-S. Both of these bills passed the House of Representatives on February 1, 2018. If the Senate Committee votes to pass these bills, they will go to the full Senate.

HB 2042 (as it was amended in the Committee of the Whole in the House) will do the following things:

  • Legalize Concealed Carry Reciprocity (CCR), meaning that Kansas will be forced to accept concealed carry permits from other states- no matter what the other state’s requirements are regarding permits or training. The NRA wants to pass this nationally as well (as seen on 60 Minutes recently). They have also been trying to pass it in individual states as well, because one of the NRA’s major goals is to have guns literally everywhere with zero restrictions. 
  • Allow 18-20 year olds (who are currently not allowed to concealed carry in Kansas) to concealed carry guns anywhere with a permit. Remember that Kansas does not require permits or training for people over 21.
  • Require permits for anyone (no matter how old that person is) who wants to carry a gun on a college or university campus in Kansas.

NOTE: HB 2042 would allow a person ages 18-20 from a state that does not require any training at all to get a concealed carry permit to concealed carry in Kansas. It would also allow a person of any age from a state that does not require any training at all to get a concealed carry permit to concealed carry on a college campus in Kansas. Because the majority of college students are under 21, the bill would vastly increase the number of people allowed to carry hidden guns on college campuses in Kansas.

HB 2145 will do the following things: 

  • Make it illegal for the following people to carry concealed guns by changing the definition of the “criminal use of a firearm”:
    • Fugitives from justice
    • Aliens illegally or unlawfully in the United States
    • Persons convicted of a misdemeanor for a domestic violence offense within the past five years
    • Persons subject to court orders restraining them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner, child, or child of an intimate partner.

A court order must fulfill the following conditions in order for a person to be prohibited from carrying a gun (adapted from the Supplemental Note):

  • It must have been issued after a noticed hearing where the individual had the opportunity to participate
  • Include findings that such person is a credible threat to the safety of an intimate partner or child
  • Explicitly prohibit the attempted, threatened, or actual use of physical force against an intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.

NOTE: This bill will save lives in domestic violence situations.

Please contact your Kansas Senator AND the Senators on the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee about these two bills and urge them to OPPOSE HB 2042 and SUPPORT HB 2145. 

There is no livestream provided by the Capitol in this hearing room. Please come to Topeka personally and/or look for live updates about the hearing on our Facebook page and Twitter account. #failcampuscarry #ksleg

 

Bill introduced to repeal gag law barring KS universities from speaking on guns on campus

Bill introduced on 2/6/2018 to repeal law prohibiting public entities, like universities, from communicating with the legislature regarding guns on campus.

At 9am this morning in the Federal and State Affairs Committee, HB 2677 was introduced to repeal a law passed in 2013 which prohibits any agency which receives state money from communicating with the legislature about “gun control.” This law has been interpreted to mean that the University of Kansas, for example, is not allowed to testify on hearings which concern guns on college campuses or do anything that can be construed as serving the purpose of changing state legislation regarding guns.

When this law originally passed in 2013, another important law was also being passed through Topeka– HB2052– a bill creating the crime of unlawful discharge that, by the time it left the Senate, was also a bill which forced universities, state hospitals and other public buildings to allow concealed carry, with the option of a 4-year exemption period ending on July 1, 2017. The Kansas Board of Regents and all of the university police chiefs in Kansas prior to this point, were in unanimous opposition to allowing guns on campus.

Both of those laws were enrolled on the same day, which meant that in 2015, for example, the state universities were not legally allowed to express disapproval at the bill that ultimately got rid of permit and training requirements in the State, despite its obvious impact on concealed carry on university campuses.

So if you’ve wondered why the Chancellor of the University of Kansas or the administration of Kansas State University has been silent during all of our legislative attempts to reverse campus carry, this gag law barring them from speaking to the legislature is a big part of the reason.

We must repeal this gag law so that the legislature has access to the opinions of those whom some of the laws they are passing affect the most.

Please call your legislators and demand that they support this bill.

 

Updated to include bill number.

Bill allowing 18-20 year olds to concealed carry passes KS House

In today’s Kansas House of Representatives session, there were two gun bills that were amended on the floor– HB 2042 and HB 2145 — and passed. What happened can be found in more detail below, and on our Twitter feed.

In summary, the Kansas House passed HB 2042 (amended) out of committee. The bill as amended does 3 main things:

  • Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity (CCR), which is an agreement between states to accept other states concealed carry licenses. This is something the gun lobby wants because it allows them to get around permit and training requirements in states that have stricter requirements. They want it because it will make it easier to further restrict gun laws.
  • Allows 18-20 year olds to concealed carry in Kansas with a permit. This is the permit application in Kansas. The training that Kansas requires is only 8 hours long and around $100, so it does not guarantee that someone who has passed it knows how to react in a dangerous situation with their gun.
  • Requires anyone who wants to concealed carry on a college or university campus in Kansas to have a permit like the one mentioned above no matter what their age.

On its face, part of this bill sounds like it might be a good idea, but do not be fooled. The main part of the bill — Concealed Carry Reciprocity — would make the amendments basically obsolete because people from states that don’t require any training to get a concealed carry permit would be able to carry on campus without training. It would make what we have in Kansas — permitless carry — more likely to be a reality nationwide.  This bill is also clearly a step towards no permit or training requirements for people ages 18-20. We must have more stringent permit and training requirements for everyone who carries anywhere and we must prohibit guns on campus. Period.

Explanation of Today’s Events 

This bill would legalize concealed carry reciprocity. This is a huge nationwide effort by the NRA to make permits and training obsolete nationwide. Here’s an explanation of what this concept is from an organization fighting it at the national level.

In today’s session, Representative John Whitmer first introduced an amendment to HB 2042 to fix the dates on the bill so they are current for this year, which passed.

Then, Representative Landwehr introduced an amendment to allow people over the age of 18 but under the age of 21 to legally concealed carry in Kansas with a permit. Right now, no one under 21 is legally allowed to concealed carry in Kansas, and no permits or training are required for anyone over the age of 21. This law would do nothing to enforce permits on those 21+ and would expand who is allowed to concealed carry legally in the state. It was made clear that this would be a step towards 18-20 year olds being allowed to concealed carry without a permit, an ultimate goal of the NRA. This amendment passed with a 82-42 vote.

Representative Ballard then introduced an amendment to allow individual universities to make their own decisions about whether to allow campus carry, which would effectively reverse the campus carry law. That amendment failed 53-69.

Then Representative Vic Miller introduced an amendment to ban bump stocks, which was rule not germane to the bill. A challenge was made to the germaneness ruling and then overruled. Basically, that amendment failed because the Rules Committee didn’t consider it pertinent enough to the bill at hand.

Then Representative Aurand introduced an amendment that would require permits and training for anyone concealed carrying on college and university campuses in Kansas regardless of their age. This amendment passed 70-52.

The House then voted on the bill as amended (with the Aurand and Landwehr amendments explained above) and passed it out of Committee of the Whole.

After more than 2 hours discussing HB 2042, the bill, HB2145, which would create restrictions on carrying guns for people convicted of domestic violence, passed out of Committee without debate or discussion on a voice vote.

If  any of this concerns you, please contact your legislators.

#failcampuscarry

NRA Curriculum in Kansas Public Schools a Possibility

On January 11, 2018, the bill HB2460 firearm safety education programs in public schools was introduced into the Kansas House of Representatives Committee on Federal and State Affairs. This bill would require any public school teaching gun safety at public elementary schools to use the Eddie Eagle curriculum developed by the National Rifle Association (NRA). 20/20 did a special on the ineffectiveness of programs like Eddie Eagle, based on the research and with the cooperation of child psychologist, Dr. Marjorie SanFilippo.

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This bill would mandate that any curriculum about gun safety in public schools “shall be based on the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe program offered by the national rifle association or any successor program” and used “for students enrolled in kindergarten and grades one through eight.” The curriculum for students in grades 9-12 “shall be based on the hunter education in our schools program offered by the Kansas department of wildlife, parks and tourism or any successor program.” The application to be an instructor for the Department of Wildlife Hunter Education program prohibits instructors from saying anything negative about hunting. Doing so would risk their instructor certificate:

“You will be expected to portray a favorable image of hunters, hunting, and Hunter Education; to be a positive role model for the students as well as the community at large. Any action that brings discredit can result in revocation of instructor certification.”

This requirement prohibits instructors from informing students about the negative effects of hunting on the environment.

The naming of the Eddie Eagle GunSafe program and the Hunter Education program designed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife in this bill would make it so that no other gun safety programs could be chosen by school officials and would give the NRA and the Department of Wildlife control over this area of public school curriculum.

Perhaps a refresher of Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution is in order:

“The legislature shall provide for intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement by establishing and maintaining public schools, educational institutions and related activities. . .” 6.1 (emphasis added)

When the Kansas legislature mandates the use of a private program, like Eddie Eagle, as a part of the public school curriculum, they are not maintaining the public nature of our schools in the state of Kansas as guaranteed by the Kansas Constitution.

This bill is not only against the Kansas Constitution, but it would only serve the financial and promotional purposes of the gun lobby, the NRA.

If this potential law bothers you, please inform your Kansas Representatives.

The Fight To Keep Guns Off Campus Is NOT Over

It is July 1, 2017, so guns are now officially allowed on college campuses in Kansas. We fought hard. We called and emailed legislators. We had in person conversations. We held protests. We showed up at meetings. We distributed information. We made campus carry a campaign issue in 2016. We forced campus carry into public discourse. We got people talking. We stood up for our educational spaces. We expressed our academic freedom. We were brave.

Now that it is July 1, the gun lobby expects to give up. They expect us to be afraid. They think their guns are going to scare us all into silence and that we are going to quietly stand by while they carry their death machines into our educational spaces.

They think that we will quit learning and quit teaching. They think that after a few days, we will forget that there was ever a time in which guns were not permitted. They think that we will allow this to be normal.

They are waiting for the media to die down and for us to become complacent.

But we are not going to stop fighting this law.

We are not going to quit working to ensure that educational spaces in the state are safe and free from violence and literal weapons of war.

We will not normalize the presence of guns on our college campuses.

We are not going to cower and we are not going to quit.

So get ready Kansas, because we are just getting started.

 

#failcampuscarry