On Tuesday, moderate Republicans in the Kansas House stood with conservatives and defeated a Democrat attempt to prevent campus carry from taking effect July 1.
Campus carry was signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback in 2013 with the stipulation that universities which wanted to declare certain buildings gun-free would be given four years to put in security measures sufficient to keep students safe. The security measures required include metal detectors and armed guards.
According to The Kansas City Star, the Democrats’ attempt to stop campus carry was pushed by House Minority Leader Jim Ward (D-86). He pushed a bill focused on “out-of-state concealed carry permits” with the goal of getting it to the House floor and launching a discussion that would have allowed amendments to be made to the campus carry law. But Ward’s attempt to secure debate “failed on a 44-81 vote.”
Although Ward’s push was defeated, there remains a determination to find ways to change the campus carry law. And some of those interested in possible changes are the very Republicans who voted against Ward’s bill. In fact, state Rep. Tim Cox (R-Shawnee) — “a moderate” — indicated that he opposed Ward’s bill for the simple reason that other negotiations were going on behind the scenes.
What this would have done would have effectively been a ceremonial vote that very well would have killed all of those negotiations. We could have had this ceremonial vote, potentially passed some stuff out of the House, and it would have killed any chance of reform, I think, of actually going through.