Kansas House advances pair of gun bills to Senate

Lawmakers gave their approval last week to a bill lowering the age for concealed weapons to 18 and another to up gun prohibitions on domestic abusers.

The measures, HB 2042, which would make a host of changes to the state’s concealed carry laws, passed 76-44 while the domestic abuse bill, HB 2145, saw unanimous support.

The more controversial of the pair would drop the minimum age for a concealed weapon’s license in Kansas from 21 to 18 and require the state to recognize all valid concealed carry licenses and permits issued by other states, the latter endorsed by the state attorney general’s office.

Moriah Day, chairman of the Kansas State Rifle Association, said that Kansans aged 18 were adults. “They can serve in the military and give their lives for our freedom. They should be trusted to carry a firearm for self-defense,” Day said.

What the gun rights advocates did not agree with is a successful amendment by Republican state Rep. Clay Aurand that would allow public universities in the state to refuse to allow permitless concealed carry on their campuses.

“It is crucial that the Senate remove the dangerous Aurand amendment when they have the opportunity to do so,” said the group’s political action committee in a broadside to supporters.

Meanwhile, Moms Demand Action, who has opposed the measure from its inception last year, welcomed the college carry restriction but reiterated their argument against the HB 2042 overall, calling it a “dangerous” bill.

Gun restrictions on domestic abusers

The second measure to pass, HB 2145, would prohibit legal gun possession under state law by fugitives from justice, those illegally in the country, convicted domestic abusers and those who are the subject of active protection orders for harassing or stalking.

The bill has the support of a number of police lobby groups in the state as well as gun control advocates, and little opposition in its current form.

Both proposals are headed to the Kansas Senate for further review.