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WHAT OTHERS SAY: Missouri and Kansas lawmakers are hard at work for gun lobby

Friday, May 3, 2013 | 11:13 a.m. CDT

The nation’s attorney general has informed Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback that he recently signed an unconstitutional law.

Brownback surely knew that when he approved Senate Bill 102, which declares that guns and ammunition are exempt from federal law simply because they were manufactured and owned in Kansas. Anyone with a basic knowledge of American civics is aware the U.S. Constitution declares federal law supreme over state law.

That Brownback signed the bill into law anyway speaks volumes about what is going on in Kansas. And in Missouri, where a similar bill, the “Missouri Firearms Freedom Act,” has been passed by the House.

Both states’ legislatures have been blatantly disrespectful of the federal government, of law enforcement officers and of the union itself. They have shown callous disregard for the many families who have lost loved ones to gun violence and who want to see reasonable safety measures enacted.

Lawmakers in both states have used the massacre of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., as an impetus to propose a host of laws designed to put more guns into the hands of more people and to weaken what gun safety measures we have. Their behavior has been shameful.

Among its other faults, the unconstitutional law signed by Brownback is fiscally irresponsible. Derek Schmidt, the Kansas attorney general, has asked the Legislature for an additional $225,000 over two years to begin to cover the legal costs it is expected to generate.

After word of the letter from U.S. Attorney Eric Holder reached Kansas, the president of the Kansas State Rifle Association speculated as to how the law might generate a clash with the federal government. One possibility would be if federal authorities learned that a Kansas firearms dealer was ignoring federally required background checks for state residents purchasing Kansas-made guns, Patricia Stoneking told The Associated Press.

Wait a minute. Do most Kansans really want state officials spending their tax money to battle the federal government over background checks at gun shops? We doubt it. Most Americans want background checks expanded.

Do most Kansans want their state government prosecuting federal law enforcement agents for doing their jobs? We doubt that, too.

Besides the unconstitutional law called out by Holder, Brownback also signed a bill making it easier for people to carry guns in schools, on college campuses and at work.

In neighboring Missouri, rarely does a day go by when the legislature does not devote at least a couple of hours to gun-related matters. This week the House passed a bill authorizing tax credits for gun manufacturers. That’s right, firearms makers would get a break from the taxes most other businesses are required to pay.

Other bills working their way through the process would lower the legal age for carrying a concealed handgun from 21 to 19, enable designated school personnel to bring guns to work, allow state employees to keep firearms in their cars on state property, expand open carry of handguns, declare a “sales tax holiday” for purchases of guns and ammunition, and expose businesses to lawsuits if someone is harmed in a building that was posted as gun-free.

State politicians are working for the gun lobby now. They are willing to give away taxpayers’ money, abandon pro-business principles and call their civic loyalty into question to expand gun rights that very few people are even asking for.

If anyone should be up in arms at this point, it is the citizens of Missouri and Kansas.

Copyright The Kansas City Star. Reprinted with permission.


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Comments

Ed Lane May 3, 2013 | 12:20 p.m.

ms holder is unconstitutional!!!!!! He should be in jail for the "Fast & Furious" mess and don't tell me obozo didn't know anything about it!!!!
For our 2nd Amendment rights.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 3, 2013 | 1:53 p.m.

"Anyone with a basic knowledge of American civics is aware the U.S. Constitution declares federal law supreme over state law."
____________________

Maybe the KCStar should read the Supremacy Clause:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."
____________________

Note the "Laws....which shall be made in pursuance thereof" part.

The Clause only applies if Congress is acting in pursuit of its constitutionally authorized powers....the "law" has to be constitutional. If not, it can be ignored.

That's why we have SCOTUS........

Perhaps KS feels that way about some of these laws.

PS: Liberals like causes based upon "principle" no matter how damphoolish...except, of course, when it ain't their "principle". But, I've found I kinda like it, so consider me on board.........
______________________

"Do most Kansans really want state officials spending their tax money to battle the federal government over background checks at gun shops? We doubt it."

You doubt it? Last time I checked, "doubting" isn't a good argument for anything. Now, if you had conducted a random scientific poll of Kansas that wasn't pushed, and came up with some values supporting your statement, I'd back off.

But.....doubting it??????????

Bad editorial. Reminds me of push-polling or "Do you still hit your wife?"

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm May 3, 2013 | 3:26 p.m.

"If anyone should be up in arms at this point, it is the citizens of Missouri and Kansas"

This Missourian is up in arms about the legislator but it certainty is not about guns. The gun debate is just another distraction issue.

I keep seeing a Missouri around me that is falling behind, not just the rest of the country, but the rest of the world in economic competitiveness. Mt business comes with a lot of travel and with that travel you see the effects of different policy choices. If Missouri does not get serious about education, infrastructure, and creating an environment for new entrepreneurs we will keep sliding down.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 3, 2013 | 4:02 p.m.

I travel a lot, too, Jack. When I'm in Chicago, NYC or any major California city, I wonder where all of those residents' and businesses' taxes are going. I pick up the local newspaper at my hotel, and it's usually filled with two things: 1) letters to the editor complaining about skyrocketing sales, income and property taxes and 2) articles about the latest budget crisis, such as unfunded schools, pensions, law enforcement and transportation.

If you give a government more money, you will get more waste.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm May 3, 2013 | 4:50 p.m.

Jimmy,

If you could please point out where I mentioned raising Missouri taxes I would appreciate it.

I think a good start would be using our current tax revenues efficiently, something the guys and gals in Jeff City know nothing about.

(Report Comment)
Ken Geringer May 3, 2013 | 5:43 p.m.

Jack, you clearly are a kook. Your socialist thought that anything other than reducing taxes to zero could improve the lives of Missourians is ludicrous. We are sovereign. Feds can't make us do anything. Can't even make us take money if we have to spend it on health care for people we despise. Missouri is in the running for top most free state. Let them try to take our guns away. Just let them try. No new taxes, except for this and that and what the hell let's make sure the freeloading underclass pays another percent for roads, that's serious. As Jesse Colin Young once sang, "Some folks think we are nuts."

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 3, 2013 | 6:25 p.m.

"If you could please point out where I mentioned raising Missouri taxes I would appreciate it."

Okay:

"If Missouri does not get serious about education, infrastructure, and creating an environment for new entrepreneurs we will keep sliding down."

"I think a good start would be using our current tax revenues efficiently, something the guys and gals in Jeff City know nothing about."

I agree that it would be and that they won't, which means they'll raise taxes instead. That brings us back to this:

"If you give a government more money, you will get more waste."

(Report Comment)

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