A gun proposal supported by the National Rifle Association and Moms Demand Action is stalled in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning assured Republicans on Saturday that the bill will move through the Senate.
“That will get to the Governor’s desk,” Denning, an Overland Park Republican, said.
Under federal law it is a crime for someone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence or someone with a protection order that includes a firearm prohibition to possess a firearm. State law doesn’t include the same prohibitions, which means state law enforcement has to wait on the feds to enforce that law.
“They often times won’t take those cases unless there is some more serious factor involved in it,” says Ed Klumpp, a retired police chief and lobbyist for the Kansas Sheriff’s Association, the Association of Chiefs of Police and the Kansas Police Officers Association.
Klumpp has been working on the legislation for the last several years, with varying degrees of success. Similar legislation passed out of a Senate committee the first year it was tried, but was never debated on the floor. The following year, it went through the House, but was never debated on the floor.
This year, the legislation sailed through the House without amendments, passing that chamber 120-0. It is languishing in the Senate, after a Senate committee tacked amendments to the proposal.
The Star reported that Senate leadership is just “letting the bill sit there,” but that’s not accurate.
Denning said he’s trying to figure out how to get it to across the floor without any “gotcha” amendments added to it that political campaigns would later use as political wedges.
Sen. Barbara Bollier told the Star she was “horrified” the legislation is stalled in the Senate. The Mission Hills Republican also told the Lawrence Journal-World last week that she intended to offer an amendment to the bill when it reached the floor.
Bollier’s amendment would allow courts to confiscate guns from people who are a danger to themselves and others. Her possible amendment may be the reason for the hold-up on the legislation she says she supports.
“We know it needs to get to the Governor’s desk,” he said.
The delay is just part of the process. Because the Senate and House versions of the bill differ, a conference committee will hash out the differences in the legislation once it passes the Senate. Before final passage, both chambers will have an up or down vote on the compromise proposal.
“There’s a reason there’s a deliberate process,” Sen. Molly Baumgardner, a Louisburg Republican, said.