4/24/14 | by Chris Eger
A bill that would overturn city and county gun laws, expand open carry, and speed up NFA transfers was signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Browback Tuesday.
The new law will expand open carry in the Sunflower state while speeding up Class III device applications and limiting taxpayer funds for gun buybacks. The bill had previously passed both the state House and Senate by extremely large margins.
“Kansans have long believed the right to bear arms is a constitutional right,” Gov. Sam Brownback said in a short statement announcing the signing.
Besides allowing increased open carry opportunities in the state, it also would prevent cities and counties from regulating firearms sales or how guns are stored or transported. While local governments could still prohibit open carry in public buildings if they wish, they would be limited in their powers outside of that narrow scope.
In an effort to help remove roadblocks to those wanting NFA-regulated items like suppressors and short-barreled rifles, the bill includes a “shall certify” requirement that a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) must sign off on an application to transfer such an item within fifteen days, as long as the applicant is not prohibited from possessing it.
Finally, the bill would ban public funds from gun buybacks and order that guns seized by law enforcement either be sold to a licensed gun dealer (FFL) or donated to hunter education programs.
Opponents of the measure took exception not only to the bill itself but also to Brownback’s timing, coming just two weeks after a man with past ties to white supremacy groups allegedly shot three people at a Jewish community center in the state.
“It is outrageous. It’s contrary to public safety, and it’s undemocratic,” said Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “This is certainly one of the more extreme pre-emption laws that I’ve seen.”