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Kansas voters approve measure clarifying right to bear arms

The citizens of Kansas voted Tuesday to enact Senate Resolution 1611 [text, PDF], clarifying the right to bear arms. Kansas Amendment 1: Right to Bear Arms, which passed 89 percent to 11 percent [unofficial results], will amend section 4 of the Kansas Constitution [text, PDF], which previously read: "The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security." The newly-amended section will now state: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, for lawful hunting and recreational use, and for any other lawful purpose." The Kansas Legislature [official website] passed the resolution in March with both the state house and senate meeting the requisite two-thirds majority in time to include the measure on the November ballot.

In June, the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] in a 5-4 decision that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment makes the Second Amendment applicable to states, as well as the federal government. In the case of McDonald v. Chicago [Cornell LII backgrounder] the Supreme Court struck down the Chicago ordinance that effectively banned the possession of handguns in the city. In 2008, the Supreme Court addressed the application of the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller [opinion, PDF; JURIST report]. In this 2008 judgment, the Supreme Court held that the US Constitution prohibits the District of Columbia from banning private handgun ownership.

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