The Republican-controlled Kansas state legislature on Monday easily overturned a veto of an omnibus gun rights bill rejected by the state's Democrat governor last month. 

House Bill 2058 was scuttled by Gov. Laura Kelly, who delivered a trope-worthy message to GOP lawmakers by saying in her April 23 veto message, "Throughout my time in public office, I have been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and of Kansans’ right to own firearms. But we can respect and defend the rights of Kansas gun owners while also taking effective steps to keep our children and families safe."

Returned to the state House, the motion to override quickly secured an 84-39 victory while the state Senate gave it a 31-8 vote, making it law despite Kelly's veto ink. 

The proposal was introduced at the request of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican who described the measure as "reasonable and needed 2nd Amendment legislation," in urging lawmakers to overturn Kelly's veto. 

"The bill strengthens our ability to obtain reciprocity in licensing with other states," said Schmidt. "It also fixes the roadblock in the permitting process discovered when the governor ordered driver’s license offices closed during the pandemic, making it impossible for new applicants to obtain permits. And it promotes firearms safety by encouraging 18- to 20-year-olds, who lawfully may carry openly under current law, to obtain training and a permit to carry concealed."

In addition, the NRA, who supported the bill, notes that HB 2058 "Creates a Restoration of Rights process for individuals to reestablish the Second Amendment right to possess a firearm, upon expungement of certain convictions." 

Kelly, a former state lawmaker representing the Topeka area, ran for governor as a "gun sense candidate" in 2018 with support from billionaire Michael Bloomberg's Everytown anti-gun group. During the race, Everytown dropped at least $800,000 in ads either backing Kelly or slamming her NRA-endorsed Republican opponent, Kris Kobach.

Banner photo: Kimber Rapide (Chris Eger/

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