On Thursday, the Kansas House took a major step to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners by approving three pro-gun bills, including one that would prohibit the federal government from enforcing gun laws or bans on firearms and accessories manufactured, sold, or kept in the Sunflower State.
Essentially, HB 2199 – The Second Amendment Protection Act – is based upon Montana’s ‘Firearms Freedom Act,’ which invokes states rights under the 9th and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution to argue that the federal government does not have the authority to regulate intrastate commerce.
Under the language of the bill, any federal agent that attempts to enforce a federal gun law or confiscate firearms manufactured, sold or kept within the state’s borders would face felony charges.
Key provisions of Kansas’ Second Amendment Protection Act read, in part:
Sec. 6. (a) Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.
Sec. 7. It is unlawful for any official, agent or employee of the government of the United States, or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States to enforce or attempt to enforce any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States upon a firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately and owned in the state of Kansas and that remains within the borders of Kansas. Violation of this section is a severity level 10 nonperson felony.
Of course, opponents of the bill contend that federal laws takes precedence over state laws and that this bill won’t hold water in a federal court (The Montana version is now being reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; at least 32 other states have introduced similar Second Amendment Protection Acts).
“What we are saying here is that regardless of what happens, we can simply just decide we’re going to disregard federal law,” said Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis (D- Lawrence). “I think that sets a very dangerous precedent.”
Another bill, HB 2055, passed by the House would expand concealed carry into government buildings, courthouses, state offices and other public buildings unless the building as adequate security measures to ensure that no weapons enter the building.
The main purpose of the bill is to reduce the number of unguarded or unprotected ‘gun-free zones.’
Rep. Jim Howell, a Derby Republican, told the Associated Press that areas designated as safe zones because they have signs posted that say concealed firearms aren’t allowed should better be named “dangerous zones” because they provide a false sense of security.
“Guns aren’t the problem. The problem is the people who have the guns,” Howell added.
However, opponents of this measure believe that it puts the government between a rock and a hard place in that they either have to purchase expensive scanners and security equipment or let citizens carry onto the premises.
“It coerces or forces us to allow concealed carry in those buildings,” Mike Taylor, a lobbyist for the Unified Government of Kansas City, told the Associated Press.
Finally, HB 2052 would protect gun owners who discharge a firearm within city limits from criminal prosecution. According to the NRA-ILA, in the past, city residents who’ve fired a gun in self-defense or while hunting in certain areas have been prosecuted for violating city ordinances that prohibit one from discharging a weapon.
All three bills will now head to the Senate for consideration.