In a press conference last Thursday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed Senate Bill 45, a measure that will allow state residents over the age of 21 to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
The bill previously passed the state Senate two months ago and was approved by the House in a 85-39 vote after that. Called the “constitutional carry” bill by its supporters, the proposal received wide support from gun rights advocacy groups such as the NRA and National Association for Gun Rights. Set to take effect on July 1, Kansas will become the sixth state in the country to allow constitutional carry within its borders.
“Carrying a gun is a lifestyle,” Representative Travis Couture-Lovelady (R-Palco) told KSN. “The government should trust its citizens.”
The state’s previous concealed carry law was passed in 2006. It required all applicants to pay $132 in fees and take required training courses before being allowed to practice concealed carry with a permit. Many Second Amendment advocates have long argued that these permits are unnecessary, with some even calling the licensing unconstitutional. Representative Steve Brunk (R-Wichita) told the Topeka Capital-Journal that the new law would bring concealed carry in Kansas closer to the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“We have become conditioned to accept licensing, fees, mandatory classes, and other such restrictions. Government must trust law-abiding and responsible citizens,” Brunk said.
Some critics have voiced concerns over the lack of mandatory training and what it could mean for public safety. Supporters of SB 47 still encourage gun owners to educate themselves on safe firearm handling, especially when carrying concealed firearms. During Thursday’s press conference, Governor Brownback also highlighted the importance of training and pointed out that his son recently took a hunter safety course.
““It was an excellent course. He got a lot out of it. I got a lot out of it. And I want to urge people to take advantage of that,” he was quoted by The Wichita Eagle.
Under the new law, Kansas will continue to provide permits for those who want to carry a concealed firearm outside of Kansas. Thiry-six states recognize concealed carry permits from Kansas.
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