While legislators in many states are waging an all-out assault on their citizens’ right to keep and bear arms, Kansas lawmakers are working to bolster those rights.

House Concurrent Resolution 5020, currently under consideration in a state House committee, would amend the Kansas State Constitution to expand coverage of the state’s already strong right to bear arms protection. With more than 60 lawmakers listed as authors, the measure would clarify that the existing constitutional right would also include firearm components, accessories and ammunition, and specify that any future restrictions enacted would be subject to strict scrutiny by the courts.

“A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, for lawful hunting and recreational use, and for any other lawful purpose, and such right includes the possession and use of ammunition, firearm accessories and firearm components; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power,” the proposed amendment states. “The right to keep and bear arms is a natural and fundamental right. This right shall not be infringed. Any restriction of such right shall be subject to the strict scrutiny standard.”

Note that approval of the measure by the legislature and signing by the governor won’t automatically make the constitutional amendment the law of the land. If approved, the proposal would go before Kansas voters during November’s general election.

Per the legislation, the ballot question will include: “A vote for this proposition would recognize that the right of the people of Kansas to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and clarify that the right includes the possession and use of ammunition, firearm accessories and firearm components. Such vote would also recognize the right to keep and bear arms as a natural and fundamental right. Any restrictions of such right would be subject to the strict scrutiny standard. A vote against this proposition would make no changes to the constitution of the state of Kansas with respect to the right to keep and bear arms.”

Before the amendment can go on the ballot, it must be approved by two-thirds of both House and Senate members and signed by the governor. If it makes it onto the November ballot, only a simple majority is needed to either approve or reject the amendment.

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