Kansans aged 21 and above are now allowed to carry concealed weapons without a permit or any required safety training, thanks to the efforts of Gov. Sam Brownback who officially gave the go-ahead for it. On July 1st, when it comes into effect, Kansas will join states like Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Vermont, and Wyoming for allowing Americans the freedom to carry a gun without having to “get the permission slip from the government”.
“Constitutional carry” is allowed by Connecticut law as long as one does not possess a criminal record. It still issues permits in an attempt to regulate the issuance of weapons, while Arkansas and Montana allow for limited concealed carry, where it is restricted from certain parts of the states.
Training will be required for concealed carry weapons in the 36 states which accept Kansas permits. Businesses may still post signs that request that people do not concealed carry within. In a statement, the Governor said:
“I am pleased to sign Senate Bill 45 bill today. I have been – and continue to be – a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights. Responsible gun ownership – for protection and sport – is a right inherent in our Constitution. It is a right that Kansans hold dear and have repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed a commitment to protecting.”
The bill was introduced in February. Five more votes are necessary to pass it. Six Democrats support the legislation, and 17 Republicans voted against the measure, showing that this issue is by no means a partisan one.
Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, a Democrat from Wichita, a staunch critic, said , “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.” Loren Stanton, president of the Kansas chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, echoed this concern, saying “There is no way that taking away training can make guns safer.”
However, according to the NRA, the three states with laws most similar to Kansas have actually experienced a decline in murder rates, with reductions of 23% in Alaska, 16% in Arizona, and 8% in Wyoming.
Though training will no longer be a requirement, Gov. Brownback claims that it is still important for people to take up training of their own accord. His youngest son had just completed a hunter safety course, he said that, “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. I strongly encourage anyone who has a gun – for protection or sport – to take advantage of existing safety training courses, whether for hunter safety or general gun safety.”
Information on the nine other states that have pending legislation concerning the right to carry a concealed weapon without a permit can be found through the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.
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