Kansas gun laws

A pro-gun rally on the south side of the Kansas Statehouse drew about 200 people to Topeka on Friday morning as students around the country walked out of class to protest gun violence.

The rally was organized by the Kansas State Rifle Association and the NRA.

Speakers repeated familiar slogans, arguing that "only a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun," that progressives want to repeal the Second Amendment, and that if people are old enough to serve in the military, they're old enough to conceal carry.

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Legislation designed to strengthen Kansas schools against gunmen passed in the House Wednesday, though some lawmakers argued the bill is more ploy than policy.

The measure would set aside $5 million for schools to upgrade infrastructure to slow or thwart a potential school shooter. The bill passed on a 119-5 vote and heads next to the Senate for consideration.

The bill won Democratic Rep. Jason Probst's vote, but not his support.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Even in the wake of national and local protests, students and others pushing for tighter gun laws say state and federal lawmakers from Kansas refuse to tackle even “common sense” firearm rules.

Thousands rallied across the state over the weekend. They called for stronger background checks. They pushed an assault weapons ban. And they pleaded for laws to extract guns from homes where suicide and domestic violence appear imminent.

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Kansas legislators are debating a bill designed to keep guns out of the hands of fugitives and domestic abusers and could consider other gun issues.

The Senate planned to take a final vote Thursday on the measure. The bill would make it a felony under state law for anyone convicted of domestic violence to possess a firearm within five years of conviction. It would also be illegal for fugitives to possess guns.

But senators expected to take up other gun proposals as well during their debate.

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Listening to news reports while driving to the Statehouse on the day after the deadly high school shooting in Florida, Kansas Sen. Barbara Bollier decided to redouble her efforts to put a “red flag” law on the books in Kansas.

She wants a system for temporarily confiscating guns from people deemed a risk to themselves or others.

“It’s not something that tramples on somebody’s rights,” said Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican. “It just puts a temporary hold on a situation until things calm down.”

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Kansas schools that want to offer gun training in the earliest grades would be required to use a program designed by the National Rifle Association, under a bill lawmakers studied on Tuesday.

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Kansas lawmakers have rejected an effort to repeal a law that allows people to carry concealed firearms in most facilities at public colleges and universities in the state.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the Kansas House voted 53-69 against Democratic Rep. Barbara Ballard's repeal amendment Thursday.

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The Kansas House advanced a bill that will allow people as young as 18 to carry concealed weapons.

Currently only those 21 and older can carry concealed weapons. The new law would require those between 18 and 21 to get a gun permit, which is not required after age 21.

The bill advanced Thursday by a vote of 85-35 and could come to a final vote Friday.

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The start of July means the start of two new policies that affect students and employees at Wichita State University.

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Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed into law the state’s new school funding formula, which increases aid to schools by $284 million within two years.

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