Area legislators comment on concealed carry law

Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, voted for concealed carry.

“I believe that honest, law-abiding citizens should pretty much be able to do anything so long as it doesn’t impact on their neighbors.

“The folks we have to worry about are already carrying. Realistically, the threat to the public is not from folks who can pass the standards of that bill, but the folks who are carrying and will continue to carry and engage in other illegal actions.”

Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie, voted for concealed carry.

“I have always been a strong proponent of individuals to be able to protect themselves. I believe there are adequate measures in this bill that allow for adequate training, background investigation, to ensure that individuals have the right to protect themselves. I’ve never had a problem with concealed carry.

“That (eight hours training) is sufficient for basic firearms training. Most of these people who are going to be doing this have had previous experience.

“In looking at the other states, there has not been a significant problem with concealed carry. In fact, the overall crime rates, for violent crimes, have reduced in a majority of those states, and I would have to believe that is a contributing factor to that.”

Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, voted for concealed carry.

“I ran on that two years ago as a supporter of concealed carry with some licensure or permit requirements. I’m just fulfilling a campaign issue that I ran on.

“For those people who want that permission to carry, it is a big deal. I’m happy to provide them that freedom today.”

Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, voted against concealed carry

“Kansas laws on guns are very lenient. My constituents have let me know they are not impressed by concealed carry. We don’t need more guns in the community.

“How do you handle this in behavioral kinds of stages, when people are angry or enraged? My basic reason, and my constituents’ reason, is that we don’t need more guns in the community and we cannot rely on just guns to keep people safe.

“I guess now that it has passed, what worries me the most is will people have to be fearful of guns being all around them? Now you have to go through putting up signs – they don’t belong there, they can’t be here. How are you going to enforce that? But the main issue is you are less safe with more guns around you.”

Rep. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin, voted against concealed carry.

“I was personally mixed on it, but the initial reaction I got from the district, especially from Lawrence, I mean my phones ring off the hook. The Lawrence Journal-World ran a story on a Friday, and Saturday morning I had people getting me out of bed on this issue. My district is mixed on it, but up in the south part of Lawrence people were overwhelmingly against the concealed carry. So I felt that being representative I represent my district’s needs, and that’s what my folks were telling me.”

Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, voted against concealed carry.

“I don’t think putting more guns in the hands of people in public places is going to lead to greater public safety.”

Who can carry

In order to qualify for a concealed carry permit in Kansas, a person must:
¢ Be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the county where the application is filed and a Kansas resident for at least six months.
¢ Be at least 21 years of age.
¢ Be free from any infirmity that prevents safe handling of a weapon.
¢ Complete a “weapons safety and training course” approved by the attorney general, a law enforcement agency or the National Rifle Assn. Applicants must pay for their training.
¢ Concealed carry permits issued by another state or the District of Columbia will be valid in Kansas if the attorney general determines that other standards for issuance are equal to or greater than Kansas’ standards.

The bill disqualifies anyone:
¢ Who has been convicted, placed on diversion or adjudicated for a felony as an adult or juvenile in any jurisdiction.
¢ Subject to a restraining order under the Protection from Abuse Act or the Protection from Stalking Act.
¢ Who is in contempt of court in a child support proceeding.
¢ Who has been dishonorably discharged from military service.
¢ Who has a criminal record.