Kansas will nullify local gun laws

04/23/2014 10:08 AM

04/27/2014 9:44 AM

The governor has signed a bill that will bar local governments from enforcing local gun ordinances, his office announced Wednesday morning.

HB 2578 is the brainchild of Rep. Jim Howell, R-Derby. Having a universal gun law across the state will make it easier for gun owners to follow and easier for law enforcement officials to enforce, he says.

The bill, signed by Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday, will prevent local governments from restricting open carry or from collecting information on which municipal employees have permits to conceal and carry.

It also includes a provision that prohibits someone from carrying a gun while intoxicated, similar to laws against drunk driving.

The bill received significant support from gun advocacy groups, such as the Kansas Rifle Association, but resistance from the Kansas Association of Counties on the grounds that it will hurt municipal governments’ ability to maintain a safe workplace.

It would effectively end a practice by the city of Wichita to ask employees to disclose if they plan to carry a weapon on the job. Howell has said that if municipal employers have questions about whether their employees are following gun laws, they should call law enforcement to make that determination.

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