State sued over 'Second Amendment' gun law

Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:12:23 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 09 2014 08:16:27 PM CDT
(WICHITA, Kan.) -

A federal lawsuit accuses Kansas of trying to rewrite the constitution, strip authority from the U.S. Supreme Court and invalidate federal law.

But the state says all it's trying to do is protect the rights of Kansans to own a gun.

More than a year after it passed, the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence has sued to stop enforcement of the so-called "Second Amendment Protection Act."  The group, which fights for strict gun laws, says Kansans could be harmed by this law.

According to the Brady Campaign, the law -- as it's written -- has the potential to end background checks and make it harder for police to track guns used in crimes. The campaign says it could also put guns in the hands of people who can't legally own them under federal law.  The campaign also says the law makes it a crime to enforce any federal gun law that Kansas determines is unconstitutional.

"What this law has done is create a situation where it is plausible that a violent domestic abuser can legally have an untraceable undetectable gun.  And if a federal law enforcement officer attempts to arrest that individual it is the officer who will be facing felony charges," said Alla Lefkowitz, an attorney for the Brady Campaign.

The state law gives specific protections to guns made in Kansas.  At this time there are no gun manufacturers in the state, but supporters of the law have said they hope it will encourage gun companies to come to Kansas and bring jobs.

In fact, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a co-author of the law, has filed the paperwork to start a company called "Minuteman Defense" which he says will make and sell rifles.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a named defendant in the suit, is promising to defend the law.   In a statement, he said "the timing and tone of this election year lawsuit are obviously political." 

The Brady Campaign denied the timing was political and point out a similar law in Montana was struck down by the federal courts.