Tomas Hoppough
KU Statehouse Wire Service
TOPEKA – The House Committee on Federal and State Affairs introduced two bills Wednesday that would amend regulating conceal carry, and prohibit local regulation of firearm sales.
The bills would clarify House Bill 2578, which was enacted in 2014. Unintentionally, HB 2578 made qualifications for conceal carry permits stricter than existing federal or state law.
“The wording contained (in HB 2578) did not accomplish intentions,” said Patricia Stoneking, president of the Kansas State Rifle Association. “This is a cleanup bill needed to reconcile some issues created in legislation from 2013 and 2014.”
HB 2074 would remove the Attorney General’s ability to deny a conceal carry handgun application if the individual had prior person or drug felony offense. HB 2578 made qualifications stricter, which resulted in people who committed crimes as juveniles – but had clean records since they reached adulthood and qualified under the Personal and Family Protection Act – to lose their permits.
“Many of those citizens were outraged,” Stoneking said. “(They) had possessed them for several years, had a clean record since achieving adulthood, yet had their permits revoked.”
Chairman of the Committee on Federal and State Affairs, Rep. Steve Brunk (R-Wichita), said that wasn’t part of the intent.
“This is part of the cleanup process,” Brunk said. “Inadvertently we left people who committed crimes as juveniles out of the bill. Now if they have a clean record, and are eligible to purchase a firearm, to own a firearm, they should be able to qualify for a conceal carry permit as well.”
Another bill that the committee considered was HB 2087, which would prohibit interference with the commerce in the sale of firearms or taxation of firearms. The bill will prevent local municipalities to implement a tax on guns.
Brunk said that the two bills will be move forward before the end of February.
Tomas Hoppough is a University of Kansas senior from Fairbanks, Alaska, majoring in journalism.