The governor of Kansas has signed a law that prohibits local governments from using taxpayers’ money to promote gun control. They may not produce or distribute “any kit, pamphlet, booklet, publication, electronic communication, radio, television or video presentation” that is related to gun control.
They may not hire lobbyists, either.
Gun control promoters say this is an infringement on their constitutional right to take money from taxpayers and then use this money to promote their own agendas. One local official protested. “The next thing you know, the state will pass a law that closes tax-funded schools. Public schools are based 100% on the idea that local governments can and should use taxpayers’ money to promote agendas that a lot of taxpayers oppose. I mean, once you accept the idea that a local government can’t use taxpayers’ money to promote its own agenda, where will this stop?”
OK, I faked that quote. But it is consistent with the critics’ protests.
Critics of the bill argue that the bill comes dangerously close to violating the First Amendment rights of cities and towns that want to see changes in state or federal gun laws. Mayor Mike Dever of Lawrence, Kansas, told the Associated Press that he is frustrated with the state’s concealed carry law and now worries about to what extent he can challenge the law.
“It kinds of creates an interesting dilemma for local government agencies, when they feel strongly about something and have to be careful,” Dever said.
We need more interesting dilemmas like this. Lots more.