Kansas House panel expands gun-rights measure

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas residents could carry loaded handguns in their vehicles under a bill that’s cleared a state House committee.

The Federal and State Affairs expanded gun-rights legislation Wednesday before approving it. The committee’s unanimous voice vote sends the measure to the House for debate, as early as next week.

The bill strips cities and counties of the power to regulate guns. National and state gun-rights groups are pushing it.

The bill would void existing local gun ordinances throughout Kansas. It would ensure that the open carrying of firearms is allowed.

But backers hadn’t originally included the language on handguns in vehicles. People would have permission even if they don’t have state concealed carry permit.

Local government groups oppose the bill, saying city and county officials know their communities best.

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