Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Brady Center to Sue Brownback ; Guns: Measure Was Implemented July 1

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Brady Center to Sue Brownback ; Guns: Measure Was Implemented July 1

Article excerpt

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence issued notice Monday of its intention to file a lawsuit against Gov. Sam Brownback to challenge a sweeping state law nullifying enforcement of federal firearms restrictions in Kansas.

Brownback said in response that attorneys for the state would vigorously defend the gun rights of Kansans.

Attorneys working for the Brady Center plan to challenge the constitutionality of Kansas' law, known as the Second Amendment Protection Act, in U.S. District Court. Details of a legal argument that the state law undermines federal gun laws in Kansas are to be revealed Wednesday during news conferences.

In April 2013, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Brownback asserting the Kansas law was unconstitutional. He cited the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution to contest the state's position that federal employees could be blocked from carrying out their responsibilities.

A provision of Senate Bill 102 exempts firearms manufactured and owned in Kansas from being subjected to federal law, regulation or authority. The bill's supporters did soften the measure by dropping language calling for arrest or detention of federal agents who sought to enforce federal gun control in Kansas.

"In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, (the law) directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional," Holder said.

Brownback said the reform bill he signed earned bipartisan support and wasn't worthy of intervention in a federal court. Kansans have repeatedly affirmed a commitment to protection of their fundamental right to bear arms and to preserve sovereignty of the state of Kansas, the governor said.

"It is a right enshrined not only in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, but also protected by the Kansas Bill of Rights," Brownback said. …

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