Lawmakers from coast to coast in 2015 sought to expand gun rights or implement gun control measures in a number of states, with a measure of success on both sides.
Despite the best efforts of Bloomberg-backed gun safety advocates and state Democrats, the number of states that allow open carry and unlicensed concealed carry both increased while others advanced reforms on federally regulated suppressors. On the downside for gun rights, those same advocates managed to derail several campus carry bills, add another state to the ranks of those that mandate background checks for private gun sales as well as usher in further regulation in states that already have the strictest in the nation.
In Kansas, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a measure in April to allow lawful concealed carry of handguns without a permit.
“Responsible gun ownership, for protection and sport, is a right inherent in our Constitution,” he said at the signing of the popular measure that passed the state legislature in sweeping 31-7 and 85-39 bipartisan votes.
Following in the Sunflower State’s footsteps, Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage set aside earlier veto threats to lend his signature to a proposal making his state the seventh in the country to back constitutional carry.
The club would have gained three other members, West Virginia, Montana and New Hampshire who saw governors, all Democrats, veto permitless carry bills sent to them in recent months by lawmakers. In each of these cases, public safety concerns brought up by gun control and…