Top Stories Of The Week | KCUR

Top Stories Of The Week

May 4, 2013

The United States Attorney General challenged a new Kansas gun rights law. And Ford finally announced how many new jobs are coming to its Kansas City plant. KCUR's Steve Bell recaps on those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.

2,000 New Jobs Coming To Ford Plant

There'll be 900 new jobs before summer at the Ford Plant. Local Manager Dan Jowiski said aptitude tests for applicants will start soon, possibly as soon as next week. National Ford Executives in Kansas City for the announcement, said that the Ford Transit Van line now under construction will employ still another 1100. It has been known for months that there would be job additions. This was the first time the company had indicated how many positions would be involved.

Housing Starts Bounce Back To 2008 Levels

Things were looking good in the area home building economy, too, with a 30 percent quarterly increase in new home permits year-to-year. Home Builders Association Executive Vice-president Sara Coreless said things are getting back to pre-recession levels and that people in the industry believe the trend will continue. New permits issued in the first quarter were roughly equal to the number issued in 2008.

Commercial construction, though was down locally and nationally.

US Attorney General Challenges New Kansas Gun Law

The new Kansas law that makes it a crime to try to enforce federal regulation of in-state manufactured firearms was pronounced unconstitutional by US Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder cited the the constitutional provision that federal law is the law of the land and said a state cannot put federal law enforcers in a position of having to break a state law in order to enforce a federal one.

Patricia Stoneking of the state rifle association said Governor Brownback should tell Holder that applies only to federal laws that are constitutional. She opined that the federal government has been engaged in some “overreach” in firearms control.

US Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom said the Justice Department was prepared to have a federal court “determine whether the law is constitutional.”

Brownback didn't flinch, and responded that the Kansas law is constitutional under the 9th and 10th amendments.

Gun Rights Also Dominates Missouri Legislative Agenda

Pro-gun/anti federal regulation sentiments were also rampant in the Missouri legislature, where a similar bill advanced.

Despite some very hot floor debate, a bill allowing designated persons to carry concealed guns to work in public schools passed. A bill offering tax incentives to firearms manufacturers also advanced.

In legislation not related to firearms, the House passed legislation that would allow adults to ride motorcycles without wearing helmets. An ethics bill limiting campaign contributions and post-legislative employment by lobbying firms was sidelined and is unlikely to come to a vote.

Furor Over MO Concealed-carry List Continues

And Social Security Administration investigator Keith Schlib responded to a subpoena from a Missouri Senate committee to answer questions about a copy of the state's concealed-carry permit list.

Despite Schlib's assurances that requesting the list was a routine procedure, and that it was not shared with ATF or Homeland Security, the Senate rejected $20 million in Homeland Security funding that was budgeted, took the printing of the ID cards away from the DMV and cut its budget.