WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Gun rights advocates in Kansas are divided on a bill that would allow people to carry concealed guns without permits.
The Wichita Eagle reports that if the bill passes, people will also be able to carry concealed guns without the training that permits requires. The bill will not extend to anyone under 21, unless they are on their own property.
Some gun supporters, like 65-year-old Janet Berney, say that critics are just looking for something to critique, and that it will give added protection to people who use guns wisely.
“The criminals already have all the guns they want, and all the good people know that guns are dangerous and need be handled carefully,” she said. “All those complaining, they just need to calm down. This law will give us all added protection and won’t lead to anything bad.”
Steve Spencer, a 44-year-old mechanic from Wichita who has worn a holstered gun in public for years, has some concern about the section of the bill that eliminates training.
“Guns are dangerous, life and death,” he said at a gun range last week. “Everybody needs some training.’’”
Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter thinks that passing the bill would make work more difficult for his deputies. He said that more training may be required on how to approach people because the assumption would be that everyone is carrying a gun.
The bill was introduced by Republican Sen. Terry Bruce after three years of research with Patricia Stoneking, the president and chief lobbyist for the Kansas State Rifle Association.
“In emails to my office, it’s 800 in favor versus a handful,” he said. “People overwhelmingly want this.”
Bruce says that other states that have similar “constitutional carry” laws have not experienced any issues.
Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com