guns

Tooling through parades in a flag-themed Jeep with a faux machine gun mounted on the back apparently wasn’t enough for Secretary of State Kris Kobach to win over the National Rifle Association in the Kansas governor’s race

The country’s largest and most influential gun lobby on Monday instead endorsed Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer in his Republican primary. That left Kobach claiming that he still has the backing of grassroots gun rights voters.

The NRA said its endorsement reflected Colyer’s “strong support for the Second Amendment and the hunting heritage of Kansas.”

The Kansas Attorney General’s office said that applications for concealed carry licenses continue to decline.

About 4,900 new license applications were submitted to the state Concealed Carry Licensing Unit in the 2018 fiscal year. That’s the lowest total since the licensing program began in 2006.

The Personal and Family Protection Act, enacted in 2015, allows eligible individuals over age 21 in Kansas to carry a concealed weapon without a license.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Teachers and staff who died on school grounds across the country over the past year, including those killed in school shootings, were added to the National Memorial for Fallen Educators in Emporia on Thursday.

The memorial was created in 2013 in reaction to the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary. The Memorial for Fallen Educators was designated a national memorial in May.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File Photo

Wichita Public Schools is mandating all students and staff watch an active shooter training video.

The video was required viewing when it was first produced by the district in 2015 using the district’s drama students. It became a recommendation in 2016, but will be mandated again starting next school year.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

For the past school year, guns have been allowed at public colleges in Kansas.

But the concealed nature of campus carry, alongside a year with no major gun-related incidents at Kansas universities, has meant most students and faculty haven’t really noticed the guns — or a difference.

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

Younger people could carry guns even as local authorities gain new powers to take guns away in some situations. Police videos could become more available and people held in prison wrongfully could expect payments from the state.

On all those matters, Kansas lawmakers have advanced legislation. Those bills still need final approval from the Legislature — and the governor’s signature or a veto override — to become law. But they could soon be on the books.

stacey_newman / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Legislation designed to strengthen Kansas schools against gunmen passed in the House Wednesday, though some lawmakers argued the bill is more ploy than policy.

The measure would set aside $5 million for schools to upgrade infrastructure to slow or thwart a potential school shooter. The bill passed on a 119-5 vote and heads next to the Senate for consideration.

The bill won Democratic Rep. Jason Probst's vote, but not his support.

At school, Kansas students learn what to do in case a shooter attacks. Lock classroom doors. Turn out the lights. Huddle out of view from the window in the door.

In the Statehouse, lawmakers are searching for consensus on better ways to prevent, or cut short, school shootings. Arm teachers? Fortify schools? Train kids about guns?

On Tuesday, the feelings clashed in a committee hearing and on the floor of the Kansas House just days after gun control activists drew crowds to March for Our Lives protests in Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and across the country.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Even in the wake of national and local protests, students and others pushing for tighter gun laws say state and federal lawmakers from Kansas refuse to tackle even “common sense” firearm rules.

Thousands rallied across the state over the weekend. They called for stronger background checks. They pushed an assault weapons ban. And they pleaded for laws to extract guns from homes where suicide and domestic violence appear imminent.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Hundreds of students, teachers and supporters marched through downtown Wichita on Saturday to demand stricter gun laws.

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