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April 17, 2013

Brownback signs measure allowing schools to arm employees with concealed guns

Kansas will allow public schools and colleges to arm employees with concealed guns and loosen restrictions on carrying concealed weapons into public buildings, starting in July.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed the concealed carry legislation into law Tuesday.

State Sen. Forrest Knox said Wednesday that it sends a message that Kansas trusts law-abiding citizens to carry concealed guns. The Altoona Republican was a leading advocate of the measure.

The new law says that state agencies, local governments, state universities and state colleges couldn't prevent people with state permits from bringing concealed guns into their buildings after 2017. The law allows local school boards, university presidents and college boards to designate individual employees who can carry concealed weapons in their buildings, whatever their policies for the general public.

Brownback also signed a bill into law declaring that the federal government has no power to regulate guns manufactured, sold and kept only in Kansas.

The legislation signed Tuesday also applies to ammunition made, sold and kept in the state. The new law takes effect by the end of next week and makes it a felony for a federal agent to enforce any law, regulation, order or treaty regulating such items.

But the bill also says federal agents won't be arrested or detained if they face trial for violating the law.

Supporters have worried about the federal government enacting gun-control measures following December's mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. Critics question whether the measure is constitutional.

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