A legislative committee is considering a bill that would bar local governments in Kansas from passing any rules that restrict the open carry of firearms. It would also invalidate any local rules currently restricting open carry. Representative Jim Howell, a Derby Republican, says the goal is to create consistency.
Some representatives of local governments argue that open carry decisions should be left up to localities. City and county governments would also be prohibited from asking if employees have a concealed carry permit. Howell says he's worried about possible discrimination against those employees.
A bill in a Kansas Statehouse committee would bar local governments from restricting the open carry of firearms in public. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the bill would also invalidate any current rules regulating open carry.
In Kansas, local governments are already banned from regulating firearms in many ways, but they can still pass rules regulating open carry. Representative Jim Howell, a Derby Republican, says the goal of the bill is to create consistency across Kansas when it comes to open carry.
“Provides, if you will, clarity in the law. It allows people to be confident about what they’re allowed to do and what they’re not allowed to do. You don’t have to worry about researching the locations that you go, trying to figure out what the jurisdiction might say about what you plan on doing,” says Howell.
Some local governments argue that open carry decisions should be left up to localities, and open carry might not be a good idea in all places. The bill would also prohibit city and county governments from asking if employees have a concealed carry permit. Howell says he's worried about possible discrimination against employees who have a permit.