Should Texas follow Kansas’ lead and allow CHL holders unrestricted access to more public buildings such as college and university campuses, courthouses, state offices and other public buildings?
Please read and consider the following article:
From The Kansas City Star, (The Associated Press) By JOHN MILBURN, 06/29/13 –
TOPEKA – Starting Monday, licensed gun owners will be allowed to bring their concealed weapons into more government buildings in Kansas and people who try to bring them into places where they are prohibited won’t face criminal penalties.
The provisions are part of an expansion of Kansas’ concealed carry law passed during last year’s legislative session as the federal government was discussing gun-control measures in the wake of a mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school in December. The new rules allow people with concealed carry permits to bring firearms into public buildings deemed not to have adequate security measures, such as metal detectors and trained guards.
Those public buildings could include college and university campuses, though they – like local governments – can seek exemptions while they try to beef up security to a standard that would allow them to ban guns.
Previously, concealed guns were generally banned in courthouses, state offices and other public buildings where officials post notices.
State Sen. Forrest Knox, chief architect of the new regulations, said the changes are meant to protect the “constitutional guaranteed individual liberties” of law-abiding citizens. More than 60,000 concealed carry licenses have been issued in Kansas, including 16,000 in the first five months of 2013.
“We should not tread on their rights while at the same time take no steps to prevent criminals from bringing illegal weapons in to public buildings,” said, Know, an Altoona Republican. “Good Kansans with guns make all of Kansas safer.”
Cities and counties can seek six-month exemptions while they come up with new security measures. Colleges and universities can seek four-year exemptions.
Critics have argued that the new regulations amount to an unfunded mandate on local governments and higher education. Compliance with the legal definition of adequate security measures, opponents said during legislative debate, would cost millions of dollars to implement scanners and increase the number of guards. Legislators provided no state funds to offset the cost of security measures.
The law also changed language in Kansas’ 2007 statute regarding efforts to carry a concealed weapon into a building declared free of guns. The change eliminates the possibility of a licensed concealed carry permit holder being arrested for trying to gain access. Instead, the permit holder may be denied access or asked to leave without criminal penalty.
The law also gives school districts the authority to allow certain designated teachers and staff to carry concealed weapons in buildings. The exceptions are the state schools for the blind and deaf.
Knox and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said they foresee little trouble implementing the changes, which apply to hundreds of public venues statewide.
“I think people will be able to navigate,” Brownback said Thursday. “I think it’s going to be able to worked through and it will be fine.”
Patricia Stoneking, president of the Kansas State Rifle Association, said that cities and counties should abide by the decisions of state legislators.
“We maintain that the state operates under the rule of law and individual jurisdictions must abide by that law regardless of their personal feelings about the law,” she said.
People may also eventually be allowed to carry concealed guns into the Capitol. The Statehouse was given until July 1, 2014, to come up with what are deemed adequate security measures. The date allows for the completion of renovation to the Statehouse, which has been going on for more than a decade. It is anticipated that security to the building will be revamped to improve public safety, but details haven’t been announced.
Public access is currently limited to two entrances: one for people walking in from street level and one through the basement garage. In both cases, armed guards monitor access, including use of metal detectors. Legislators and other building employees with key cards enter through other access points.
One major insurance carrier has said it won’t renew polices policies for districts or colleges where concealed guns are allowed. The company, EMC Insurance, which insures 90 percent of the state’s 286 school districts, cited greater liability risks for its decision.
In response, Independence, Coffeyville and Neosho community colleges in southeast Kansas will join forces to provide coverage through an insurance broker at competitive rates. The colleges are hoping to expand the coverage to school districts and further reduce rates. Knox said there were no statistics to support EMC’s liability claims.
Text of concealed carry law: http://bit.ly/ZQ5xte
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article322240/Concealed-carry-law-changes-in-Kansas-begin-Monday.html#storylink=cpy
Reblogged this on 2nd Amendment, Shooting & Firearms Blog and commented:
Nice to see more expansions of law abiding gun owners rights!
Well you can say what you want but the Constitution does not say that the right of the people to have and bear arms shall not be infringed as long as they have a permit…or as long as there isn’t an anti gun measure in that locality. So it’s all pretty clear to me.
Lets see how far this gets, and if Frick & Frack ( aka King & Estes) support it. We certainly could not count on either to lead or co-sponsor.
AUSTIN, November 14, 2014– A Texas legislator has introduced a new bill to derail the enforcement of virtually all federal gun control measures within the state’s borders.
“With this bill, Texas could help lead the country forward,” said Scott Landreth, campaign lead for ShallNot.org, a project of the Tenth Amendment Center that advocates for states to protect their citizens from federal overreach. “Passage would have serious impact on the federal government’s ability to carry out its unconstitutional gun control measures already on the books.”
Landreth has suggested that this could create a domino effect.
Introduced by newly re-elected State Representative Tim Kleinschmidt (R-Lexington), House Bill 176 (HB176) declares all federal restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms to be “invalid” and “not enforceable” within the state of Texas. It bill reads, in part:
A federal law, including a statute, an executive, administrative, or court order, or a rule, that infringes on a law-abiding citizen’s right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution or Section 23, Article I, Texas Constitution, is invalid and not enforceable in this state.
If passed into law, all government agencies and employees within Texas would be banned from enforcing any federal law in violation of the act. The prohibition on enforcement includes any federal legislation that:
(1) imposes a tax, fee, or stamp on a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition that is not common to all other goods and services and may be reasonably expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by a law-abiding citizen;
(2) requires the registration or tracking of a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition or the owners of those items that may be reasonably expected to create a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by a law-abiding citizen;
(3) prohibits the possession, ownership, use, or transfer of a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition by a law-abiding citizen;
(4) orders the confiscation of a firearm, firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition from a law-abiding citizen.
State employees who knowingly violate the act would risk a suit for damages for assisting the federal government violate an individual’s right to keep and bear arms in Texas. A defense of sovereign immunity would also be prohibited in such a suit.
Kleinschmidt, starting his 4th term in January, has developed a reputation as a strong defender of the Second Amendment. In the 2013 session, he worked to pass legislation that “prohibits public and private colleges and universities from adopting administrative rules banning the possession, transportation and storage of lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition in private motor vehicles by students and visitors with Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs).” He was also heralded by the NRA-ILA for his 2011 employee/parking lot protection bill that was signed into law that year.
Recognizing that the federal government would always require cooperation on a state and local level, James Madison, writing in Federalist #46, advised state “legislative devices” and a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” as a strategy to push back against unconstitutional or merely unpopular federal acts.
Last year, Judge Andrew Napolitano said that if a single state stop participating in the enforcement of federal gun laws, it would make those laws “nearly impossible” to enforce within the state.
“If a few other states follow Kleinschmidt’s lead, it’ll also give Washington D.C. pause before even trying to pass new restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms,” he said.
The approach is on sound legal footing, with notable Supreme Court opinions backing the view that the federal government cannot require a state to expend manpower or resources in the enforcement of a federal act. The 1997 case, Printz v. US serves as the cornerstone. In it, Justice Scalia held:
The Federal Government may neither issue directives requiring the States to address particular problems, nor command the States’ officers, or those of their political subdivisions, to administer or enforce a federal regulatory program.
As noted Georgetown Law Constitutional Scholar Randy Barnett has said, “This line of cases is now 20 years old and considered well settled.”
In 2013, similar legislation was passed in Idaho, although not as far-reaching as the bill from Kleinschmidt. Another bill was signed into law in Alaska, but lacked the specifics of which federal acts the law addressed. And another law was signed in Kansas, but is currently not being enforced due to a court challenge from the Brady Campaign over provisions that include criminal charges for federal agents.
HB176 will first be assigned to a committee, where it will need to pass before a full assembly of the State House can consider it.