[JURIST] The Kansas House of Representatives Committee on Federal and State Affairs [official website] on Friday voted to advance HB 2111 [text, PDF], a bill which would allow the open carry and transport of firearms around the state. The language of the bill currently prohibits cities and counties from restricting individuals from carrying firearms:
No city or county shall adopt any ordinance, resolution or regulation, and no agent of any city or county shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, transfer, ownership, storage, carrying on one’s person or transporting of firearms or ammunition, or any component or combination thereof. Any such ordinance, resolution or regulation adopted prior to the effective date of this 2007 act shall be null and void.
This provision would nullify [Huffington Post Report] laws in Kansas City, Leawood and Prairie Village, which all ban the open carry and transport of guns. The law does specify some areas where open carry or possession of a gun is prohibited, including the Capitol, which conflicts with other legislation that passed through the full state House last week, allowing the open carry of firearms [Huffington Post report] in the state Capitol.
Gun control has been the center of attention since the Newtown, Connecticut shooting [WSJ backgrounder] in December. Earlier this month US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] spoke before Congress [JURIST report] urging [text] lawmakers to pass gun control legislation. Also this month the Maryland Senate approved a different bill [JURIST report] that would make it harder to get a gun license. In mid-January, President Barack Obama signed 23 executive orders [JURIST report] intended to strengthen existing gun laws and urge Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. The previous day New York Governor Andrew Cuomo [official website] signed legislation [JURIST report] intended to impose tighter restrictions on gun and ammunition sales, banning any magazine that can hold more than seven rounds and implementing instant background checks on all ammunition purchases at the time of sale.