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State House Will Soon Consider Bill That Strips Local Governments' Power To Regulate Guns

The full Kansas House could consider a bill soon that voids local government firearm regulations.

A House committee amended and approved the legislation yesterday.

The bill would keep local governments from regulating the open carry of firearms.

Committee members added a provision saying Kansans could carry a loaded gun in their vehicle anywhere in the state, without requiring a concealed weapons permit. Now, local governments can bar keeping a loaded gun on your seat or in your glovebox.

Representative Larry Campbell, an Olathe Republican, says you can carry in your home, so why not your car?

"It's the same as being in your home. And, any crook is going to have a loaded chamber, so you need to be able to defend yourself," says Campbell.

But Representative Valdenia Winn, a Kansas City, Kansas Democrat, isn't sure it's a good idea to allow loaded guns in cars across Kansas.

"Instead of public safety, we're getting so comfortable being armed," says Winn.

It's not yet clear when exactly the full House will take up the bill.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.