Monday, March 30, 2009

Kansans to vote on gun ownership amendment

The Wichita Eagle
March 30, 2009

Next year, Kansans will vote whether to change the state constitution to guarantee individual gun rights.

“It is the law of the land today in every state. They (supporters) would like to make sure it stays that way in Kansas,” said Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, an Independence Republican.

Supporters of a resolution that passed the House and Senate say the move is needed in case the U.S. Supreme Court ever decides that the Second Amendment does not protect individual gun ownership. In 2008, the court ruled that the Bill of Rights covers an individual’s right to own firearms.

Before that Supreme Court decision, some lower courts had ruled that the intent of the Second Amendment was to tie the right of gun possession to militia service, such as a state National Guard unit, rather than an individual’s right to own a gun.

Scott Vogel, spokesman for Freedom States Alliance, called the fear that the courts or the current presidential administration might take away people’s guns “a phantom issue” and said lawmakers would have been better off focusing on more pressing issues.

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