Very close fight expected in adopting right-to-carry in Kansas

A bill that would allow Kansans to carry concealed handguns easily passed the Senate on Thursday, taking a step toward a tug-of-war with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius over gun rights.

The measure passed the Senate 29-11, two votes more than needed to override an expected veto by the governor.

"This isn't a vote about the governor. This isn't a vote about the elections coming up. This is a vote about freedom," said Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville, the bill's sponsor.

But a gubernatorial veto seems likely if the measure passes the House, as is expected in the coming weeks. The bill is nearly identical to one Sebelius vetoed two years ago.

"The governor's position is very clear," said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka.

Sebelius hasn't said outright that she would flush the bill. Her spokeswoman, Nicole Corcoran, said Thursday, "It just depends on what gets to her."

Sebelius has been supportive in the past only of legislation that would allow retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed guns.

In the House, it would take 84 votes to override a veto. That could be difficult, supporters admit.

"I think I've got 84 on the nose, and that's on a good day," said Rep. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth and the measure's top supporter in the House.


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