On Thursday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a constitutional carry bill into law that, starting July 1, legalizes the concealed carry of firearms by law-abiding individuals age 21 and older, whether or not they have obtained a permit. Effectively, the law lifts the pricey permit requirement that previously prevented some Kansans from lawfully exercising their constitutional right to bear arms in self defense. According to The Kansas City Star, Governor Brownback said, “We’re saying that if you want to [carry a concealed firearm] in this state, then you don’t have to get the permission slip from the government. It is a constitutional right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right.”
The state will continue to provide concealed carry permits for those who are interested in obtaining one in order to carry concealed firearms in one of the other 36 US states that recognize Kansas’ permits. The above-embedded video by KAKE-TV notes that, under the law, Kansas businesses retain the right to post signs prohibiting the concealed carry of firearms on their property.
Critics of the law decried the fact that concealed carriers will no longer be legally required to take an eight hour gun safety class. State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita) told The Kansas City Star, “That’s a major responsibility to carry a gun, whether it’s concealed or not. And it’s scary… I predict from the legislation that — and it’s going to go quick, it’s going to be July 1 — we’re going to see some accidents, possibly deaths.”
Kansas State Rifle Association president Patricia Stoneking said that her group has been working for ten years to pass the legislation. As a next step, she would like to see the age restriction on constitutional carry lowered to 18. Said Stoneking, “Eighteen-year-olds are allowed to open carry, and they go to war and put their lives on the line to protect this country… I believe we can lower the age to 18 at some point in the future. I think after everybody sees that there are not going to be any of the dire predictions coming true, and they relax a little bit, then we can talk about that.”
KAKE-TV reporter Ben Jordan said, “Governor Brownback has signed every major gun rights bill sent to him since he’s taken office.” Kansas is now the sixth US state to allow for the concealed carry of firearms without a permit.