Kansas is a very pro-gun state. In fact, they don’t really get the credit they deserve for just how pro-gun they really are. Hell, the entire state is a Second Amendment sanctuary and has been so since before the current sanctuary push. They’re not fans of gun control, by and large.
That doesn’t mean some folks aren’t, though. Oh no, the state has its share of anti-gun zealots as well.
In fact, at least one got elected to public office in the state and is trying to push a rather insane measure.
Rep. Jerry Stogsdill (D-Prairie Village) introduced a bill in the Kansas legislature that would impose a 5% privilege tax on the sale of guns and ammunition in the state. Law enforcement and the military would be exempt.
HB2635 says revenue from the new tax would be used for mental health services: “There is hereby established the residential mental health treatment fund in the state treasury. The secretary of the Kansas department for aging and disability services shall administer the residential mental health treatment fund. Moneys credited to the residential mental health treatment fund shall only be expended or transferred for providing residential mental health treatment. Expenditures from such fund shall be made in accordance with appropriation acts upon warrants of the director of accounts and reports issued pursuant to vouchers approved by the secretary of the Kansas department for aging and disability services, or the secretary’s designee,” the bill reads.
So he wants to tax guns and ammo in order to pay for mental health treatment.
Of course, there’s a reason he’s doing this. You see, Stogsdill probably understands that people see taxes on something to pay for something else usually means those things are linked. Taxes on cigarettes in order to help pay for anti-smoking advertisements, for example, or using a gas tax to help pay for road maintenance.
He’s trying to link the idea of guns and mental illness, in part as a way of dissuading people from becoming gun owners.
It wasn’t the only anti-gun measure Stogsdill is trying to push, either. As my good friend Patrick Richardson also notes:
Stogsdill introduced another bill, HB2636, that would make “possessing, manufacturing, causing to be manufactured, selling, offering for sale, lending, purchasing or giving away any large-capacity ammunition magazine designed for use with a handgun whether the person knows or has reason to know the size of the magazine,” criminal use of a weapon.
What constitutes a “large capacity magazine” is not defined other than, “‘Large capacity ammunition magazine’ means an ammunition feeding device that physically extends below the bottom of the grip of a handgun when fully seated into such handgun.”
Honestly, that’s the dumbest definition I’ve yet seen. An extended magazine for a subcompact firearm may only hold seven or eight rounds while a standard capacity magazine for a Glock 19 is 15 rounds, yet guess which one would be banned under Stogsdill’s plan?
There is a silver lining, though.
In Kansas, there’s not a hope in hell of either of these measures even making it out of committee, much less passing to become law in the state. Still, it’s important to make note of these proposals.
Stogsdill knows they won’t pass. However, he can use these bills as a way to gauge gun control support in the legislature and, by extension, the state. That’s why it’s important that these proposals get slapped down and slapped down hard.
Luckily, I don’t think that will be a problem.