Concealed gun era under way in Kansas
State is the 47th to have a conceal-carry law. Applicants must undergo training.
By LAURA BAUER and BENITA Y. WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star
Today, Kansas will begin issuing permits to the nearly 3,000 Kansans eligible to carry concealed weapons in the state.
On Monday, Kansas became the 47th state to adopt a conceal-carry law, with permits available on the first business day of the new year. Because of the day of mourning Tuesday for former President Gerald Ford, the first wave of successful applicants had to wait until today to pick up their permits at Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s license offices.
Just after Christmas, the Kansas attorney general’s office mailed approval notices to 2,981 residents who had requested a permit by Oct. 31.
Others, who completed applications later, must wait a few weeks before they are notified.
More than 4,800 Kansans have applied to carry concealed guns, state officials say, and most have been approved.
“We’ve been working hard to get the notifications out,” said Chuck Sexson, director of conceal-carry services. “It’ll be pretty busy in our shop for the next few weeks.”
The office still must release a guide for law enforcement agencies on the procedures that licensees must follow.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Phill Kline approved a sign for establishments to post if they don’t want concealed weapons on the premises. Concealed weapons will not be allowed in libraries, courtrooms, government buildings, schools, bars, sporting events, places of worship and buildings that post the approved sign.
The application period began in July, and law enforcement officials across the state are beginning to see an upswing in applications.
“I imagine at least for another year we’ll still get a high level of traffic,” said Deputy Tom Erickson of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.
Initial predictions had 20,000 to 48,000 Kansans seeking permits in the first four years.
Before they can get a permit, Kansans must pass a background check and take a training course.
The training prepares people to know when a shooting would be justified.
“It’s not like you just sign up and here’s your permit,” said Ed Daniels, a certified firearms instructor from Olathe who has provided training for conceal-carry permits.
In the eight-hour course, students learn everything from breaking down a gun and cleaning the parts to firing the weapon properly and knowing where the guns are allowed. Students spend time on the firing range.
“A lot of the people who take the class have backgrounds in shooting as hobbyists,” Daniels said.
Getting a permit
To carry a concealed weapon in Kansas, you must:
•Be a Kansas resident older than 21, without a criminal history or record of multiple DUIs, drug arrests or domestic violence. Those involuntarily committed for mental illness or substance abuse are disqualified for five years.
•Take a certified conceal-carry training course.
•Submit an application to the local sheriff’s department along with a training certificate, a color photo and a $150 fee. You will be fingerprinted.
•Pass the application review by the attorney general’s office and the background check by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
•Take your driver’s license and the approval notice you receive from the state to a Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s license office. An examiner will check the information and take your picture. You can have your conceal-carry status noted on your driver’s license or request a separate card.
Your conceal-carry permit will arrive in the mail within 10 days and is good for four years.
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