Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) signed a law authorizing the carrying of concealed handguns in the state without a license or a training requirement. When it goes into effect, Kansas will become the fifth state with such a concealed carry law.
“I am pleased to sign Senate Bill 45 bill today. I have been
– and continue to be – a strong supporter of Second Amendment
rights,” Brownback said Thursday as he signed the bill,
flanked by Republican lawmakers and representatives from the
National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Kansas State Rifle
The bill, known as constitutional carry, was introduced into the
state Senate with 26 co-sponsors – five more legislators than
necessary to pass the bill, the Wichita Eagle reported. It passed
the GOP-led Senate 31-7 in February. One Republican voted against
the bill, and two Democrats voted for it. In the state House of
Representatives, the bill passed 85-39 at the end of March, with
four Democrats supporting it, and 16 Republicans voting against
“Responsible gun ownership – for protection and sport – is a
right inherent in our Constitution,” he said in a
statement. “It is a right that Kansans hold dear and have
repeatedly and overwhelmingly reaffirmed a commitment to
Four other states have some version of permit-less concealed
carry laws on their books – Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming
– and nine other state legislatures are currently considering
similar bills. Montana and Arkansas have concealed carry without
a permit, but not everywhere in their states.
— Jaoana Dean (@thejaoana) April
In the three states that have adopted permit-less carry laws most
similar to that of Kansas, murder rates have gone down, declining
by 23 percent in Alaska, 16 percent in Arizona and eight percent
in Wyoming, according to the NRA.
Brownback touted the importance of training, explaining that his
youngest son took a hunter safety course this past week, the
Kansas City Star reported.
“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,” said Brownback.
Training, however, is no longer a requirement to carry a
“We’re saying that if you want to do that in this state, then
you don’t have to get the permission slip from the
government,” Brownback said. “It is a constitutional
right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right.”
Loren Stanton, president of the Kansas chapter of the Brady
Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, questioned the wisdom of making
training voluntary for carrying a concealed weapon.
“There is no way that taking away training can make guns
safer,” Stanton told Reuters.
— WomenAgainstGunViol (@WAGV) April 3,
Eight hours of firearms training will still be required for
anyone who wants to carry a concealed gun in the 36 states that
accept Kansas permits.
Over 90,000 Kansans applied for concealed carry permits under the
previous law, which went into effect in January 2007, according
to the attorney general’s website.
The new law “does not eliminate our existing concealed carry
permit process,” Brownback said in the statement. “It
simply removes an administrative process for those Kansans who
want a firearm for use within the state.”
The NRA praised the signing of the bill.
“On behalf of the NRA’s five-million members, we want to
thank Governor Brownback and Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce
for their leadership on this critical issue,” Chris W. Cox,
executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute
for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), said in a statement. “This
new law is a common sense measure that allows law-abiding Kansans
to exercise their fundamental right to self-protection in the
manner that best suits their needs.”
But not all gun owners in Kansas are happy about the state’s new
law. Bill Warren, a movie-theater owner in Wichita who has a
concealed-carry permit, told the Kansas City Star he is concerned
about the safety impact of people bringing guns who haven’t gone
“My number one priority is the safety of our customers, and
after we talk to our security we will make a decision before it’s
enacted,” said Warren, who donated and hosted events for
Brownback’s gubernatorial campaign. “It makes things for the
general population less safe.”
Businesses can still post signs that say concealed weapons are
not allowed on their property. Warren said he is likely to
prohibit guns in his theaters.
— Robert McClary (@kc8ysl) April 1,
The KSRA spent 10 years lobbying for such a law. The group’s
president, Patricia Stoneking, told the Kansas City Star that the
inclusion of the previous training requirement encoded in the
2006 law was a result of “political horse trading” to get the
bill passed at the time. She said lowering the concealed carry
age to 18 from 21 is the next step.
“Eighteen-year-olds are allowed to open carry, and they go to
war and put their lives on the line to protect this
country,” Stoneking said. “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
The new concealed carry law will go into effect on July 1.