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Gun supporters rally at Kansas State Capitol

Updated: 2013-02-09T00:18:56Z

BY BRENT D. WISTROM

Eagle Topeka bureau

— About 150 people rallied at the Capitol on Friday to preserve the right to keep and bear arms.

The rally came as state lawmakers consider a series of bills aimed at preempting gun control measures being discussed in Washington and at allowing qualified Kansans to carry firearms into more places.

“Rather than less rights and less liberties, in Kansas we’re fighting for more rights, more liberty and more freedom,” Sen. Garrett Love, R-Montezuma, told the crowd.

One bill lawmakers are discussing would make new federal laws violating Second Amendment rights unenforceable in Kansas, and anyone who enforced them would face felony charges.

House Bill 2199 says any gun or ammunition owned or made in Kansas is not subject to federal law.

The state attorney general’s office expects the bill would draw multiple lawsuits that it expects would cost several hundred thousands of dollars each year.

At least five other bills are circulating the Statehouse. Several are aimed at retaining constitutional rights, although the Obama administration’s proposals are much more nuanced and aimed at relatively small changes.

“I think there’s a fear,” said House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Johnson County. “I think the fear of what the federal government is going to come in and do on gun issues. It doesn’t seem like the Second Amendment means a whole lot to the administration in Washington.”

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