Legislative Roundup: 2/3/18


Good news from Indiana as HB 1022, a "constitutional carry" bill sponsored by Republican Reps. Jim Lucas and Ben Smaltz is all but dead. The legislation, which would have repealed a provision requiring a license to carry in the state, failed to meet a legislative deadline in the state House. In Indiana, all House legislation needs to win committee approval by the halfway point of the session. That was Tuesday. While the bill can still be added to another piece of legislation and be heard by the full House, Lucas all but conceded that was unlikely. 

The Kansas House advanced HB 2042, a bill that would lower the minimum age for carrying a hidden weapon in the state to 18 years old and requires the state to recognize out-of-state permits:

During debate Thursday, the House rejected an amendment by Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, to grant college and university officials authority to ban concealed weapons from campus. State law says universities and colleges can forbid concealed weapons only in buildings with airport-style security, including guards and metal detectors.
More than 15 representatives in the House said in a statement they objected to the bill because it still allowed carrying concealed at higher education institutions.
The Kansas State Rifle Association, the state’s affiliate of the National Rifle Association, denounced Ballard’s “outrageous attempt to limit law-abiding gun owners from exercising their rights.”

On a more positive note, the House also unanimously passed HB 2145, legislation backed by Moms Demand Action that would close loopholes allowing domestic abusers access to guns. 

I've mentioned Washington's SB 5992 this bill several times on the site, not only because it's an important piece of legislation, but because it's a good test of the Democratic Party's new (and slender) legislative majority in the state. This legislation began as a ban on firearm modification devices broadly and eventually passed the state Senate as a more narrow bump-stock ban on January 25. The Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board, which has been skeptical of past gun control efforts, is on board:

This is one case in which arguments in favor outweigh arguments against. One Senate opponent, Republican Doug Ericksen of Ferndale told the Associated Press that the measure would not stop a “crazy psycho” from committing a mass shooting. Aside from a cavalier dismissal of mental-health issues, his point could apply to any law on the books; someone intent on breaking it will do so. This measure, if it does become law, will offer a deterrent to owning the devices and a tool for law enforcement to prevent future mass shootings.

Action now moves to the House Judiciary Committee, which holds its first hearing on the bill on February 9