TOPEKA — All four members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas voted in favor of a bill Wednesday that would require recognition of gun owners’ concealed carry permits from other states and add requirements to the federal background check system.
U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder, Ron Estes and Roger Marshall, all Republicans, voted in favor. The bill passed 231-198.
If the bill becomes law, it would allow “a qualified individual” who is eligible to have a gun and has a photo ID and concealed carry permit to carry their weapon in any state that allows concealed carry. Kansas doesn’t require gun owners to have a permit to carry their weapons concealed but still offers a license.
The bill also requires annual reports from federal agencies that submit information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, penalizes agencies that don’t report all the information and orders the Justice Department to study regulations of bump stocks, devices that are used to turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons.
A shooter who killed dozens and injured hundreds in Las Vegas this fall used a bump stock.
In a statement, Jenkins said she had heard from many Kansans who support the bill.
“This bill will allow law-abiding gun owners to transport their firearms across state lines without the threat of harassment, as long as the weapons are unloaded and secured,” Jenkins said.
Yoder’s spokesman, CJ Grover, called the bill a “compromise” in a statement, though only six Democrats voted for it.
“Congressman Yoder was proud to support this bipartisan, compromise legislation that enhances our national background check system and directs DOJ to address the regulation of bump stocks while bringing important constitutional protections to a level playing field across our country,” Grover said. “The American people want compromise, and that’s what we’ve achieved today. It’s a shame some are willing to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
Estes said in a statement the legislation was the first he had co-sponsored, and he was proud to see it pass. He said the bill “protects” Second Amendment rights by allowing gun owners to carry in other states.
Gun owners also can get permits outside their state of residence, but the bill makes them automatically eligible to carry in any state.
The National Rifle Association “applauded” the bill’s passage.