One of the issues that gun owners across the country will have to deal with in the 2020 state legislative sessions are “red flag” proposals, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders. The laws, which allow for firearms to be seized from someone deemed by a judge to be a potential danger to themselves or others, are already on the books in 17 states and are a big priority for gun control groups, but one lawmaker in Kansas is pushing back with legislation that would ban any such laws from taking effect in the state. From KAKE-TV:
It’s called the Kansas Anti-Red Flag Act and it would ban any law in Kansas that allows the authorities to take guns from those the state has determined are a danger to themselves or others.
Supporters say red flag laws are a common sense means of preventing mass shootings, filling in the gap for those who are too mentally unstable to be trusted with guns but who have not yet been legally banned from possessing firearms.
Opponents say these laws are an attack on the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens and the first step down a slippery slope.
Republican state representative Michael Houser is the author of the anti-red flag bill, which not only would block any federal, local or county red-flag law from being enforced but promises criminal penalties for those who don’t comply.
It shall be unlawful for any person, including a law enforcement officer, to enforce or attempt to enforce an extreme risk protection order upon a resident of Kansas. Any person violating this act shall be guilty of a severity level 9, person felony.
Under Kansas’ criminal code, that means a sentence of up to a year in jail.
Given the fact that Kansas’ governor is a Democrat who was endorsed by Moms Demand Action during her 2018 election campaign, I suspect that this bill would need to pass with a veto-proof majority in order to take effect. Governor Laura Kelly used to be a solid supporter of the Second Amendment and even co-sponsored the state’s constitutional carry law, but once she started her successful campaign for governor, she flipped on the issue and now supports a “comprehensive gun sense policy.”
It’s possible that this bill could receive that veto-proof majority it needs. Republicans control 29 of the 40 seats in the state Senate and 84 of the 125 seats in the state House. It would take 27 state senators and 84 house members to override any veto by Kelly, so it would be close, but if Second Amendment supporters in the legislature stick together, it could happen.
The Kansas legislative session kicks off on January 13, but if you’re a Kansas gun owner who supports this bill, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact your state senator and state representative now. We’ll keep our eyes on HB2425 in the meantime, as well as any other Second Amendment-related bills that are dropped between now and the start of the session.