A bill has been introduced in the Kansas Legislature that would mandate that cities would be required to allow open carry of guns.
According to Mike Taylor, Unified Government lobbyist, if this bill were to pass, cities would have to let people openly carrying guns into City Hall, even though the cities have spent a lot of money on security.
Taylor made his legislative update report on Jan. 31 to a Unified Government Commission meeting. The UG opposes open carry and expansion of concealed carry as part of its legislative platform. In an earlier discussion, local leaders said such measures would cause increased costs to the local government for security.
“There never has been the ability to open carry,” Taylor said. “Even back in the Wild West days, you had to check your gun with the sheriff when you came into town,” he said.
The Libertarian Party disagrees with the idea that open carry can be regulated by cities. Libertarians have filed suit against the UG and other cities over the issue, although the UG attorney’s office said on Jan. 31 that it has not been served yet. (The spokesman for the Libertarian lawsuit effort was not a Wyandotte County resident.)
With the increased attention on possible national gun control efforts following mass murders in other parts of the country, the sales of guns and the number of concealed carry permits have increased.
Today the Kansas attorney general’s office announced that more than 3,000 people in Kansas applied for concealed carry handgun permits statewide in January. The office received 3,167 applications.
It was the highest number of concealed carry handgun permit applications since March 2012, when 1,651 permit applications were received, according to the attorney general’s office.
A spokesman for the attorney general’s office stated that January’s numbers for Wyandotte County applications are not available. However, he said that there were 1,957 Wyandotte County residents who currently have active concealed carry permits.