Gun supporters won the first round of the battle in the Kansas Legislature on Tuesday as they promote putting dangerous weapons on campuses later this year.
A Senate panel essentially let stand a 2013 law that allows conceal carry starting July 1 at public colleges and medical centers.
UPDATED 2 p.m. Wednesday: A House committee heard testimony on a bill that would prevent that law from taking effect.
But members did not vote on the issue; that will come later, possibly in the next few days. As happened on Tuesday, it was encouraging to see that the majority of speakers favored keeping weapons off campuses.
Common sense needs to prevail eventually. Kansas lawmakers should listen to the people who matter — the majority of students, teachers and administrators who oppose campus carry — and stop currying favor from the National Rifle Association.
After the Senate panel rejected its measure Tuesday, gun zealots celebrated, without having a good reason for why they wanted to ignore college instructors and the kids they teach. This is also the same legislature where careless Rep. Willie Dove left a loaded gun last week in a committee room open to the public.
The House measure heard on Wednesday also would put off indefinitely allowing concealed guns to be carried on campuses.
As Overland Park Republican Stephanie Clayton has pointed out, the Legislature relaxed Kansas’ gun laws even more in 2015. The members inanely decided that people didn’t need permits or training to carry loaded weapons that could kill men, women and children.
(Clayton was the target of a death threat over her stand on this issue.)
So Clayton wants to review the 2013 law, which she points out her Johnson County constituents tell her they overwhelmingly reject.
I hope the House panel eventually has more courage to defy the pro-gun forces in Kansas. At the very least, the issue needs to be debated by the full House and Senate.
That way, the people of Kansas can get recorded votes on a crucial issue. That would enable them to see who’s on the side of sanity — and who’s been bought by the gun industry.