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Gun bill reaffirms right to bear arms

Early this session, I had the opportunity to be a co-sponsor for HB 2199, the Second Amendment Protection Act. This act would exclude from federal regulation any personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition manufactured commercially or privately and owned in Kansas.

As long as any such firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition remained in Kansas, the bill would provide that it would not be subject to any federal law, regulation or authority.

Also, the bill would prevent any federal agent or contracted employee, any state employee or any local authority from enforcing any federal regulation or law governing a personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition manufactured and owned in Kansas, provided it remained within the borders of Kansas.

This bill essentially reaffirms the Second Amendment, which guarantee the right of Kansans to keep and bear arms. The bill also would state that because the Constitution does not grant the federal government authority in this area, any leeway to determine how the Second Amendment right is exercised is the prerogative of the state. Thus, any attempts by the federal government to regulate the use of firearms manufactured and owned in Kansas would be considered unenforceable in the state of Kansas.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 94 to 29. The bill is now headed to the Senate for further consideration. My best guess is this will become law in Kansas.

There were two other House bills passed this past week in the House. HB 2052 would establish a uniform state law addressing unlawful discharge of a firearm within or into a city. This bill would unify the law for all Kansans, ensuring them the ability to use a firearm lawfully to defend themselves or others anywhere in the state. It passed 212 to 2.

The third piece of gun legislation passing the House this week was an addition to the Concealed Carry Act. The addition to the act ensures Kansans have the right to protect themselves in public places where security is not provided. I believe that placing a sign saying guns are not allowed is not a deterrent and does not provide the public with a safe environment. I also argued that legal citizens who have gone out of their way to obtain training from a licensed individual as well as a background check by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are not the people who shoot up schools and movie theaters.

This bill passed the House by a vote of 84 to 38, and I voted for it.

Ward Cassidy, R-St. Francis, represents the 120th District. ward.cassidy@house.ks.gov