Yoder’s vote on bill that expands concealed carry rights draws rebuke from Democratic challengers

Rep. Kevin Yoder at this fall's parade in downtown Overland Park. Photo by Andrew Poland.
Rep. Kevin Yoder at this fall’s parade in downtown Overland Park. Photo by Andrew Poland.

Kansas 3rd District Rep. Kevin Yoder’s vote in favor of a bill that will allow people with a permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state to do so in others drew a rebuke from two Democrats looking to unseat the four-term Republican incumbent.

Tom Niermann, a Prairie Village resident and high school history teacher, and Andrea Ramsey, a Leawood resident and retired attorney and health care foundation executive, both issued statements suggesting Yoder was kowtowing to the NRA. Their statements are below:

Tom Niermann

The United States faces a crisis of public safety, and Congress has failed to take any small action to keep Americans safe. Just as it our right to own a gun, as I do, families have the right to be free from the fear that their children might be gunned down in a random act of preventable violence. Big political money has stolen the right to live from too many kids, even one of my own students. By cosponsoring and voting for this bill, Kevin Yoder is willfully endangering public safety.

Congressional leaders have not just failed to take notice, but are contributing to the crisis. Police officers across our country, in states like Montana and Arizona, are sounding the alarm about the bill, which would allow people to sue police for stopping suspicious persons concealing weapons. This bill also forces all states and cities to allow out-of-state gun owners to evade their laws, and makes it possible for criminals from any other state to come to Kansas and conceal their weapons from law enforcement.

The bill’s passage and Kevin’s vote were both unconscionable and unsurprising. It was a priority for the NRA, and he has taken more money from the NRA than any member of the House of Representatives from Kansas. If we want this crisis to end, we must begin by electing a common-sense majority to Congress, who can work together to get money out of politics, and improve American lives.

Andrea Ramsey

I believe in the Second Amendment. My husband Will is a US Army veteran, expert marksman and avid sportsman. We own guns. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that Congressman Yoder co-sponsored and voted for yesterday has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It has to do with the gun lobby money that funds his campaign. His vote proves that he cares more about the NRA’s political support than the safety of our Kansas families. Congressman Yoder is failing us.

Yoder’s officer responded by saying that the bill will also improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and pointing out that Yoder was among the first congressmen to call for restrictions on bump stocks following the Las Vegas massacre. Yoder’s communications director CJ Grover issued the following statement Thursday:

Congressman Yoder was proud to support this bipartisan, compromise legislation that enhances our national background check system, directs DOJ to address the regulation of bump stocks, and brings important constitutional protections to a level playing field across our country. The American people want compromise and that’s what Congress achieved yesterday. It’s a shame some are willing to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.