OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Was it free speech or a criminal act? A response to a Facebook post by Representative Stephanie Clayton,(R) Overland Park said "this "b*#$* needs to hang from a tree for violating her oath".
In the original post Rep. Clayton said she was proud to be backing overturning provisions of a bill she didn’t support when it passed in 2013. She is even more against having guns at hospitals or college campuses now that Kansas has become a constitutional carry state, meaning no training is required to carry a weapon.
The bill she helped introduce in the Kansas House of Representatives would extend expiring exemptions indefinitely allowing colleges and hospitals to make their own decisions about guns.
"I think this is reasonable legislation that minimizes loss of life and that’s something we can all agree we might like to have, fewer people dying,” Rep. Clayton said.
Debate got underway on the Senate version of the bill in committee Thursday. Most people supported reviewing the 2013 bill. Those who had a differing opinion than Clayton were far less threatening in their testimony than the post that led Clayton to call police.
“People can get pretty heated and behind a computer it’s pretty easy to make threats and say nasty things,” she said.
FOX 4 reached out to the Osage County man who made that post via Facebook. He declined our request for an on-camera interview, but responded saying it wasn’t a threat, but an opinion that Clayton was the one committing a criminal act by violating his civil rights.
Clayton says detectives she’s spoken with say the post was against the law. She says she’ll press charges. One thing she says the whole ordeal won’t change, however, is her being outspoken about the causes she believes in.
“We took some votes on the floor today and I put those up. I like to communicate. Sometimes people might not always like what I say, but my people here at home appreciate it and I will continue to do my job,” Rep. Clayton said.
Clayton encourages people with strong opinions either way about the bill to contact their representative to testify at next week’s House Federal and State Affairs Committee hearing in Topeka. That will be Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m.