Kansas House committee approves gun measure

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas House committee approved a measure Wednesday that seeks to prohibit the federal government from regulating firearms, ammunition and gun accessories manufactured and sold only in the state.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee removed a secondary provision that would have made it illegal for any doctor other than a psychiatrist to ask patients about gun ownership.

"My intent is to protect the integrity of this bill so it passes the House with flying colors," said Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, vice chairman of the committee. Brunk successfully introduced the amendment to strip the physician provision from the bill, which then passed the committee on voice vote, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/YzSqYh ).

Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, told the committee he favored taking out that portion to "save that discussion for another day."

The Kansas Attorney General's Office raised concerns that aspects of the measure that could run up against the U.S. Constitution's Supremacy Clause, which stipulates federal law supercedes state law when the two conflict. The state attorney general's office estimated up to $625,000 in legal fees incurred for defending the law in the next three years.

The Kansas Medical Society also questioned bill when it involved doctors.

Rachelle Colombo, spokeswoman for the medical society, told the committee its interest in the bill would fade without that section and "we'll just watch it closely as it proceeds to the full House."

Colombo's group said the physician section was included in the bill because of "fear that information about firearm possession could be used by the government to identify gun owners and confiscate their firearms."