March 15, 2006

Kansas Carry

The Kansas Senate yesterday passed SB 418, the Personal And Family Protection Act, by a 29-11 margin. The bill now moves on to the House for consideration. The bill passed out of committee with a "do-pass" recommendation by a 6-3 margin and was read onto the floor and passed on the same day.

Nothing new here. We've taken this ground before. The significant things now are whether or not the measure passes in the House by a veto-proof margin, and whether or not the Senators and Representatives (assuming the lower chamber's members do pass the bill with a two thirds majority) stick to their earlier votes after the Governor vetoes it.

For veto it she will -- given a simple political calculation. She's temporizing at the moment, saying she'll reserve judgement on the issue until the bill reaches its final form and comes to her desk. That's not the real rationale, of course. What she'll be weighing is the political cost of a veto of this measure. It's an election year here in Kansas, and the Governor's got to determine whether or not such an action, patently unpopular with a majority of Kansas citizens, would be enough to tip the electorate back toward their natural inclinations and select a more conservative alternative.

As Drudge says:

Developing . . .


The Personal And Family Protection Act is essentially a copy of the measure that was passed by both houses in 2004 and subsequently vetoed by Gov. Sebelius, with the exception that a slightly higher standard of reciprocity acceptance has been added. One other minor detail: This time, the Kansas House passed the measure with a substantial veto-proof majority, which it didn't do in 2004.

The Senate passed the bill with a two-vote supermajority; assuming the senators honor their previous votes (again, this is an election year), we'll be getting shall-issue carry in Kansas as from January 1, 2007. License fees will be $150 initially, excluding the cost of acceptable concealed-carry instruction (to be borne by and at the entire responsibility of the applicant). New licenses will be valid for four years, renewable without the previous proof of training and background checks, at a cost of $100. License and renewal fees and proof of acceptable training will be waived for active and retired law enforcement officers (I'd comment on this, but it's a topic for a different day).

Sebelius (did I mention she's from Ohio?) will veto this measure. Then the governor's legislative lobby will start putting pressure on Democrats who voted in favor of the bill to switch their votes in order to sustain. Politics as usual. This time around, I don't think they'll get much traction (did I also mention that it's an election year?).

The reciprocity issue:

I wouldn't expect folks to read through the 24 .pdf pages of the measure as passed. Essentially, if in the opinion of the Kansas Attorney General another state's permitting process requires training and exclusion standards equal to or higher than those of Kansas' measure, that state's license will be honored here. Now that will exclude Vermonters and Alaskans, who aren't issued licenses and have no permitting process at all, and probably would exlude Indiana's among others as well, since their carry provisions are pretty rudimentary compared with those described in Kansas SB418.

There are also some fairly tight restrictions on where an individual will not be permitted to carry; some are common sense, others are (in my opinion) pandering to the emotional hype and fear-mongering of concealed-carry opponents. I'll leave examples of those restrictions as an exercise for the class.

One feature of the bill that I think is entirely appropriate (should one stipulate that requiring a law-abiding individual obtain a state-issued permit to exercise a God-given right -- which I don't; prior restraint, and all that) is that rather than having the program administered by the Kansas Bureau Of Investigation (K.B.I.), those responsibilities will be given to the State Attorney General. In Kansas, the A.G. is an elective rather than appointive office. Keeping the responsibility for administering the program in the hands of someone accountable to the electorate rather than in those of a bureaucracy accountable only either to themselves or their political patrons seems to make the best sense.

Furthermore, current Attorney General Phill Kline is (some would claim ultra-) conservative and is well-disposed toward the concept of "Personal And Family Protection". Regardless of this November's election results, A.G. Kline will still be in office and for at least three weeks responsible for administering the program. But as a politician, he also, to a certain degree, wants his hands on the levers of power and probably has little problem with "shall-issue" instead of "none required". I suppose we can't ask for much more for right now. It's been since 1903 that Kansans were "allowed" legally to carry concealed. Baby steps.

Should be an interesting couple of weeks.


Posted by Iceberg at March 15, 2006 11:52 AM | TrackBack

The requirement for "equal to or greater than" training will rule out recognition of Washington permit holders, as well, since WA has no training requirement whatsoever, just a fingerprint and background check.

And $150 fees? Ouch.

Posted by: Heartless Libertarian at March 15, 2006 11:10 PM

Is Kansas an open carry state? If so, forget begging your servants to exercise a right. Just strap it on and go. Do an end run around their unconstitutional CCW scam.

Posted by: mark edward marchiafava at March 16, 2006 04:09 AM
Now that will exclude Vermonters and Alaskans, who aren't issued licenses and have no permitting process at all [...]

Actually, Alaska does offer concealed permits - though they aren't required for concealed carry in the state - for this very reason.

Whether or not the training requirement for the optional AK permit is sufficiently rigorous for Kansas is another question, of course.

Posted by: Cliff S. at March 16, 2006 10:58 PM


Indeed we don't have any training requirement, but something else is worth noting about WA--we have just about the oldest nondiscretionary CCW law in existence, and the lack of a training requirement hasn't turned out to be a problem. Our rate of problems from CCW holders is just as low as everyone else's.

Posted by: Kirk Parker at March 16, 2006 11:30 PM

Appearantly Sabilious thinks that anyone who wants to carry a gun is a criminal, the truth is criminals will find ways to carry guns illeagaly, if sb 418 passes than law abiding citisens will have the oportunity to protect them selfs against such criminals. The govorner has obviously never been faced with a life threatening situation.

Posted by: Rob at March 20, 2006 05:47 PM

She will be vetoing it, as 'Berg has mentioned, if nothing other than to pander to the collectivist toads in Lawrence, Topeka, and the sundry suburbs of KC. She is a Clintonite by nature, and will do anything to look good in front of the peasants who got her elected (How this ever happened, I don't know). She views most of her state with derision, and has largely held along partisan lines when legislation has been proposed or passed along to her desk.

The odd part, to me at least, is that she has a huge amount of support in Johnson County, where conservatives supposedly reign supreme. How is it that a county that was overwhelmingly a "Red" county in the last election (and has been that way since statehood), could show so much support for that Hillary wannabe?

We can't get rid of her quickly enough.

Posted by: -B at March 21, 2006 08:39 AM

And indeed, she has vetoed it, citing as her rationale the same reasoning she used in 2004 -- namely (and of course, I'm paraphrasing here) that Kansas cops are stupider than their brethren in states that do have carry provisions and that your typical common-or-garden-variety Kansan simply can't be trusted with the most effective means available for his or her own self-defense. Apparently, as an Ohioan, she's got a "Momma knows best" attitude toward the unlettered oafs she "governs".

Brennan, Sebelius was elected, if you'll recall, more or less via Hobson's choice. Her principal opponent in the 2002 election was Tim Shallenburger, who, although an honest conservative with a dedication to individual liberty and personal responsibility, was and is a lackluster orator with a practically nonexistent podium presence. Had Shallenburger been a better candidate, we wouldn't be having this discussion now. Sebelius played up her filial-in-law relationship to a now-deceased but nevertheless well-respected long-time Democratic Congressman, Keith Sebelius, who, although from the wrong side of the aisle, was one of the "good" Democrats.

Now more than ever, we Kansans need to hold our state representatives' feet to the fire and make them accountable to their previous votes. If they do so, the bill will pass over Sebelius' veto. The Governor's office, as earlier stated, will be lobbying the Democrats who voted for the bill very hard to get them to change their vote. She needs three in the Senate, five in the House.

Though I hate to think this, even that might not be enough, should the Governor decide to implement the sort of messy state court challenges we've seen in, for instance, Wisonsin. I'd think this rather unlikely (but certainly not impossible), owing to the fact that Attorney General Phill Kline (a Republican) would not likely be well-disposed to aiding the Governor in such an effort.

Once again, we've got an interesting couple of weeks of politics ahead of us out here in flyover country.


Posted by: 'Berg at March 22, 2006 07:46 AM


Indeed. I just read the gawdawful Communist Star article over the lunch hour. Typical tripe from her, judging by the quotations that were selected by the "author" of the article.

I am still solidly pessimistic about the override. The politicos will play their hand and revert to the party line, no doubt. Cowards.

I'd like to take your advice, except I'd rather hold more than just their feet to fire. ;)

Posted by: -B at March 22, 2006 11:38 AM

Senate votes to override, 30-10 tonite. Bill goes to the House tomorrow (3-23). We need 84 votes in the House, originally had 90...cross your fingers and call your congresscritters.

Posted by: texascarl at March 22, 2006 08:06 PM

That didn't take as long as I thought it would. The Senate leadership didn't sit on this as they might have, and apparently didn't give the Governor's office time to lean on the (D) membership. I'm sure they've corrected that error with respect to the House. We'll know by the end of the day. The one thing I'd strongly urge (and have) is that any House member who does a "Kerry" on this get poleaxed at the polls in November.


Posted by: 'Berg at March 23, 2006 07:49 AM

And this just in: The House has voted to override as of 11:00 A.M. Thursday, 3-23-06.

We're in!

And I'll just bet Publicola himself is watching this entire discussion with some bemusement, if not a hint of contempt . . .


Posted by: 'Berg at March 23, 2006 10:10 AM

I just received my announcement of the House override moments ago.

Color me surprised!

At least Syllabus...Oh, I mean Sebelius, will be able to plead her contempt for this law in front of her coastal toadies when she attempts to run for POTUS...

As I walk away snickering.

Posted by: -B at March 23, 2006 11:26 AM
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