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Gun-friendly Kansas lawmakers considering small limits

The Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.

— Kansas legislators are considering "red flag" proposals to allow judges to temporarily confiscate guns from people deemed a safety risk and a measure designed to ensure that fugitives and domestic abusers are prosecuted for illegal gun possession.

While work on such issues could be seen as a shift in the political climate of a Republican-leaning state that's been friendly to gun-rights groups and their initiatives, it would not be a big one. Proposals to ban bump stocks, limit the sale of semi-automatic weapons or keep concealed guns off college campuses aren't being seriously considered this year.

An illustration of what's changed and what hasn't is preliminary work by some House Republicans on a broad package of school-safety initiatives, begun after the Florida mass shooting. It's likely to focus on seeing that schools develop good safety plans and the state boosts its spending on mental health services.

"I've gotten a couple of really thoughtful emails that say, 'Let's do something. Let's make sure the schools have a plan in place. Let's have safety, but let's not limit our Second Amendment rights," state Rep. Susan Humphries, a Republican representing a conservative Wichita district, said Thursday.

Before the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, more than two dozen bills on gun issues were pending in the Legislature, reflecting a wide range of views. And concerns about school safety are greater now, as they are in other states.

The Kansas House unanimously passed a bill last month before the Florida shooting to make it illegal under state law for fugitives and people convicted of domestic violence to possess a gun, so that such cases could be prosecuted in state courts rather than federal ones. A Senate committee is expected to vote on it later this month.

But House members also passed a bill that would allow 18- 19- and 20-year-olds to obtain state permits to carry concealed guns; under a 2015 law, people 21 and older can carry concealed without a permit. Its future is less clear.

Senate leaders have committed to having a committee hearing later this month on a proposal from moderate GOP Sen. Barbara Bollier, of Mission Hills. It would allow people who fear family members are a danger to themselves or others to go to court to get a judge to order guns removed from their homes for up to a year.

"It is a great start, not because of the Parkland shooting but because of suicide and gun violence in general," Bollier said.

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Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita, answers questions from reporters about gun issues, Thursday, ...

Associated Press

House Minority Leader Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat running for governor, is pursuing his own version that would allow the guns to be removed indefinitely. He credits the national visibility of students who survived the Parkland shooting with shifting attitudes.

But even some fellow Democrats aren't convinced that Kansas has seen much change. Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a moderate Overland Park Republican, said while her constituents favor gun-control measures, "I don't know how to get the rest of the state to vote to support those things."

The House did cancel a debate last week on a bill aimed at encouraging public schools to offer gun-safety courses and giving preference to a 30-year-old National Rifle Association program in elementary schools. But a version of the proposal could re-emerge as part of the school-safety package being developed in the House.

And after U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, expressed support for raising the age for owning semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15 used in the Florida shooting to 21, the Kansas State Rifle Association sent an email "action alert."

The group said increasing the purchasing age would prevent "a 20 year-old single mother" from buying the "most effective self-defense rifle on the market." It described the AR-15 as "making 3 felons vs. 1 homeowner a fair fight."

Comments

P Allen Macfarlane

'The group said increasing the purchasing age would prevent “a 20 year-old single mother” from buying the “most effective self-defense rifle on the market.” It described the AR-15 as “making 3 felons vs. 1 homeowner a fair fight.'

Equally likely is the case where a 20 year old owning an AR-15 goes off the rails uses the weapon to commit mass murder.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Conrad Griebel

The number of mass shooters is a lot smaller than the number of gun owners, so I don't think your math quite works out

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Needing an AR15 to defend yourself is the 'unlikely' part of the quote they are referring to.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Conrad Griebel

for 18-20 year olds who can't buy a handgun, you expect them to drive nails through a baseball bat

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Why on earth should someone who isn't eligible for a handgun be able to buy an AR-15?

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Conrad Griebel

To defend their home and/or loved ones. I feel like we are about to get stuck in a circular argument so please know that I won't respond to "why would you need an AR-15 to defend your home" See my previous comment about driving nails through a baseball bat as their only alternative. I also won't respond to "buy a shotgun" because while I agree that a shotgun is a perfectly fine home defense weapon, its recoil and barrel length can make it unwieldy for people small of stature. Have a nice day

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Daniel Kennamore

If you think you need a combat weapon to defend your home, your perceptions of reality are wholly out of whack.

You live in Kansas, the only way you're seeing that level of combat EVER is because we allow such weapons to be bought at all...and even then the chances you'll need one in your life are lower than chances of winning the lotto.

Any threat that would need that kind of firepower to stop should be handled by the police.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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William D'Armond

I respond with 2 to the chest, 1 to the head! There have been multiple home invasion in Lawrence over the past year, many of which the invader(s) utilized firearms. I would bet the invader(s) were previously convicted felons and that the firearms they were in illegal possession of were not registered to them.

Your age argument is ridiculous. You can join the military, go off and die for your country while wielding a beefier version of an AR-15, but cannot own one personally until you are 21. You might as well say that you cannot own a magazine feed hunting rifle until you are 21 as well. Dumbfounded by the level of ignorance I read on this page daily. Just because you are scared of owning a firearm or offended that your neighbor has multiple in his/her home does not give you the right to infringe on my right to own them.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Daniel Kennamore

"There have been multiple home invasion in Lawrence over the past year, many of which the invader(s) utilized firearms."

Care to quantify that with actual data instead of antidotes?

"You can join the military, go off and die for your country while wielding a beefier version of an AR-15"

What's ridiculous is sending off 18 year olds to die for oil profits...but that's a different discussion.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brad Avery

No one needs an AR-15 unless he or she is going into combat. I would prefer not to think of Kansas as a combat zone.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brock Masters

The AR 15 is a very effective home defense weapon. Please explain why a person shouldn’t use an AR 15 for self defenses when multiple home invaders are in your home.

Keep in mind, the argument by the anti-2nd amendment side is the AR 15 should be banned because it is effective in killing people; based on this, why shouldn’t a law abiding citizen facing multiple attackers trying to kill them have an effective weapon to protect themselves?

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Greg Cooper

Dammit, Brock, would you please quit harping on the "anti-2nd amendment side"? There are plenty of us out here who own guns, who believe in self defense, and who are strongly in support of those who choose to use guns for legal, recreational, and safety reasons. That we also advocate several items (many of which you, yourself, have espoused, thank you) which we believe would make the whole nation safer in the face of the rising tide of illegal or unintended legally owned gun usage. Anti 2nd amendment does exist, of course. But it is definitely not anti 2nd amendment to fight for safer, more sane (pun not intended) regulations affecting gun ownership, purchasing, and use. Using catch phrases that only divide the audience is not going to accomplish anything.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brock Masters

Fair enough - what is a better term.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Greg Cooper

How about "enhanced gun safety advocates"? I don't know, Brock, what would be a catch-all phrase, because I don't think of the issue like that. Maybe we could all just talk about underlying issues without resorting to innuendo, insults and silly stuff that does nothing to promote conversation.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bruce Weber

Very well said Greg, Thank You

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brock Masters

Since the trolls refer to me and others as “gun nuts” would the proper term be “anti-gun nuts?”

Just kidding, I won’t stoop to their level, but seriously how do you distinguish between those of us who support reasonable solutions to gun violence and those who want to ban all guns?

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Clinging to your guns having a higher priority than innocent lives is nutty behavior, Brocky.

Don't want to be called a nut? Don't act like one.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Andrew Applegarth

Why don't you consider people who defend themselves to be innocent? Why are their lives less important to you than those who failed to defend themselves?

Do you realize that if you get your way, you will simply be supporting the loss of additional innocent lives since the folks who would have defended themselves will simply be added to the group that would have failed to defend themselves anyway?

Or is it simply a case of you not caring one iota about those innocent lives unless you can exploit them to advance your agenda?

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Did you read Greg's post? How about advocates for responsible gun laws. Responsible meaning an attempt to keep the guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. People who have road rage, beat their family members, are suicidal, or have any other anger issues should not have 2nd amendment rights. We aren't talking about a militia here. We are talking about keeping peopler alive.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Richard Heckler

Get the assault weapons off the market and make it a felony to own one!!!!!!!

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brock Masters

Define assault weapon and while you’re at it explain why the assault weapon bans in CA and CT didn’t stop the mass murders there.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Daniel Kennamore

Gunsplaining.

Same trick day-after-day.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Andrew Applegarth

If you were capable of learning the difference, we wouldn't have to keep explaining it.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Connecticut didn't pass the ban until after Sandy Hook. They haven't had a mass shooting since then. And the courts upheld their laws. They also required background checks on all sales of guns, limited the amount of ammo in a magazine, and have a limited red flag law.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

I'm really amazed that Richard hasn't dragged ALEC into this yet. BTW, Richard, how do you define assault weapon? Or are you just repeating things you've heard that agree with your prejudices?

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Conrad Griebel

Characterizing a gun violence restraining order bill as something that wouldn't help very much is a little laughable when you realize that suicides account for about one out of every three gun deaths. If a family member could petition the court to temporarily remove a deadly weapon from someone who has expressed their desire to harm themselves we could see significant drops in suicide numbers.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brock Masters

I missed it. Who characterized it as something that wouldn’t help? I think it is a good idea if it allows for due process.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Conrad Griebel

Nowhere in the article, but the general sense was that this was a crumb thrown to appease people in favor of gun control.

Related, the version of the bill I read only requires a preponderance of the evidence to get a restraining order. I hope the final version increases the standard of proof between that and "beyond a reasonable doubt"

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brock Masters

Okay, I misunderstood your point. Thanks for clarification. I agree with you.

I went through Mother Jones’ data on mass shootings and 53% of shooters had prior signs of mental illness so yes this would help.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Daniel Kennamore

You hear that gun nuts? The GOP and Trump are coming for your guns.

And in other news, even more private companies are dropping the Russian backed NRA:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/m...

Some of the gun nuts are getting so desperate they are trying to financially punish private organizations for not supporting gun nuts:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/01/bu...

Such brave stewards of the Constitution to try to take legal retribution against people that don't agree with them.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

I've been a member of REI since 1972. Yesterday was the first day I was ashamed of that fact.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bruce Weber

Hey Daniel, while the wheels have come completely of the trump bus, sorry to say he had a meeting with the nra again last night and they are busy today walking back his statements, ,

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Daniel Kennamore

The man has the attention span of a goldfish.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Paul Beyer

But not the IQ!

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Trump is just a wheeler dealer. He just wanted more money out of the NRA, so he pretended he was favoring gun laws. They came back to offer him more money. We will soon see if they offered him enough.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Definitely the red flag law. There have been mass shooters, murder/suicides, suicides and irresponsible gun ownership that can be stopped by this. But make it an effective law. Family members, employers, police, school personnel, or neighbors should be able to fill out a report, the police confiscate the gun, then require them to go through an evaluation. Will some slip through the cracks? Probably. But if we save even one life, it's worth it.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

Had the leftist sheriff of Broward County not been following a policy that let high school students avoid being arrested, 17 people would still be alive now.

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

In other vastly amusing news: "...After Delta Air Lines announced it would end a travel discount for National Rifle Association members, Republican lawmakers in Georgia followed through on their threat to punish the company by repealing a budget provision on Thursday that included a $50 million airline fuel tax exemption, in which $40 million was set for the Atlanta-based airline.
But only 13 NRA members actually used the one-time group travel discount for the gun group's annual meeting in Dallas this May, Delta spokesman Michael Thomas told The Washington Post on Saturday.
That amounts to costing Delta just over $3 million per passenger for the apparently rarely used services, a consequence from public pressure on businesses to cut ties with the NRA following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead on Valentine's Day..."http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/transportation/4412416-only-13-nra-members-used-deltas-discount-killing-it-cost-airline-40

3 months, 3 weeks ago

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