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Brady Center to challenge gun law

7/8/2014

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is prepared to "vigorously defend" Kansas when the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence files a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the state's Second Amendment Protection Act.

That measure, signed into law more than a year ago, is designed to essentially let the state ignore federal gun laws when guns or ammunition manufactured and remaining in Kansas are involved.

The Brady Center, based in Washington, announced Monday it plans to file the federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.

"The lawsuit will ask the court to strike down the act as unconstitutional," the center said in a statement.

The announcement brought an immediate response from Brownback, who again blamed the Obama Administration for the lawsuit.

"As I have said previously, the right to keep and bear arms is a right that Kansans hold dear," Brownback said in the statement. "It is a right enshrined not only in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also protected by the Kansas Bill of Rights. The people of Kansas have repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed their commitment to protecting this fundamental right. The people of Kansas are likewise committed to defending the sovereignty of the state of Kansas as guaranteed in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

"The Obama administration attacked this legislation when I signed it more than one year ago. It now appears that they have found some Washington, D.C., lawyers to do their bidding. We will vigorously defend the rights of Kansans in this litigation."

U.S. Attorney Eric Holder sent a letter to Brownback just as the bill became law, pointing out its flaws.

"In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, S.B. 102 directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional," Holder said in the letter. "Federal officers who are responsible for enforcing federal laws and regulations in order to maintain public safety cannot be forced to choose between the risk of a criminal prosecution by a state and the continued performance of their federal duties."

Although Holder said the federal government would take legal action if necessary, that hasn't happened.

The Brady Center plans to file the lawsuit Wednesday.