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Kansas Gun Law Factors Into Sentencing For Chanute Men

Michael Saechange
flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge in Wichita considered a Kansas gun law when he sentenced two men for federal firearms violations Monday. As a result, the men won’t be headed to prison.

Shane Cox and Jeremy Kettler, both of Chanute, were convicted in November on charges under the National Firearms Act, which makes it a crime for convicted felons to own or possess a firearm.

Cox and Kettler fell into that category, but they mistakenly thought a Kansas law would shield them from federal prosecution.

The Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act says firearms, accessories and ammunition manufactured and kept within the borders of Kansas are exempt from federal gun control laws.

Credit Google Maps
A map of Chanute in relation to Wichita.

In addition to Kansas, similar firearm nullification laws have been signed into law in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming, according to Everytown For Gun Safety, which advocates common-sense gun control laws.

Defense attorneys contended that the National Firearms Act — a part of the Internal Revenue code enacted under Congress' power to levy taxes — is unconstitutional. They also argued that the federal law violated the Second Amendment as well as Tenth Amendment state rights protections of the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten said that although state law was not available to them as a defense, it was a factor he took into account for sentencing. He let the federal felony convictions stand and sentenced Cox to two years of supervised probation and Kettler to one year of supervised probation.

As a gun store owner, Cox was convicted of illegally making and marketing unregistered firearms, including a short-barreled rifle and gun silencers. Kettler was convicted of possessing an unregistered silencer. He plans to appeal.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.