Kansas lawmakers move to block local gun regulations

Kansas state Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady, third from the left, a Palco Republican, asks a question during a hearing on gun-rights legislation, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/Nicholas Clayton)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Local officials who already are barred from imposing restrictions on gun owners also would be prohibited from imposing special taxes on gun sales under a bill considered Wednesday by Kansas legislators.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee heard testimony in favor of a bill that follows up on a law enacted last year prohibiting cities and counties from regulating guns and nullifying existing ordinances. The committee did not take action, however.

Last year’s measures did not block local governments from levying local taxes or fees on gun sales, nor did it prohibit restrictions on gun sales through zoning ordinances. The new bill addresses those issues, though it would still allow local officials tax guns through general sales taxes.

Kansas State Rifle Association lobbyist Patricia Stoneking said existing federal and state regulations on the state’s 1,388 licensed gun dealers are stringent enough and this bill would prevent local governments from “piling on.”

Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kelly Arnold also spoke in favor of the bill, saying it would protect his personal business of selling guns and handling private gun transactions out of his Wichita home.

City and county authorities could potentially put him out of business by requiring guns only be sold from commercial property or by stringently regulating mail-order gun sales, Arnold said.

No one spoke against the measure or another gun-related bill heard by the committee. The other measure would prevent criminal penalties for licensed gun owners who accidentally bring guns into buildings where they are forbidden. It would also allow convicted criminals who were temporarily prohibited from owning guns to obtain conceal-and-carry licenses once the ban expired.

Currently, any individual who was once barred from owning guns due to a criminal offense may never receive a state conceal-and-carry license.



Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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