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Archive for Monday, June 9, 2008

Loaded in Lawrence: Carrying concealed in the city

Finding places that allow you to carry a concealed weapon in Lawrence is not hard, Journal-World reporter Chad Lawhorn found. A new law that went into effect July 1 makes it even easier to obtain a concealed carry permit.

Finding places that allow you to carry a concealed weapon in Lawrence is not hard, Journal-World reporter Chad Lawhorn found. A new law that went into effect July 1 makes it even easier to obtain a concealed carry permit.

June 9, 2008

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Hidden Heat: Concealed carry in Kansas
Finding places that allow you to carry a concealed weapon in Lawrence is not hard, Journal-World reporter Chad Lawhorn found. A new law that went into effect July 1 makes it even easier to obtain a concealed carry permit.

In summer 2007, reporter Chad Lawhorn embarked on a project to document the process of receiving a concealed carry permit in Kansas. Follow Lawhorn as he goes through the steps - from buying a gun to carrying it on the streets - and learn more about some of the people and places he encountered along the way More

I feel like a fashion model.

I'm wearing a charcoal-gray western cut blazer, black slacks and my standard pair of cowboy boots. Whenever I pull this outfit from the closet, my wife asks me if I'm trying to sell Cadillacs on a used car lot in West Texas.

Hey, I never said I looked like a fashion model.

But the thought comes to my head because I'm twirling around in front of my bedroom mirror like one.

What a man will do for a gun.

That's right, I've got a .22-caliber pistol strapped to my left hip. For the past year, I've periodically been writing about what it is like to obtain a concealed carry permit in Kansas. I've done so not to try to convince you to obtain one yourself, nor to dissuade you from applying. Instead, it has been a journalistic exercise designed to enlighten people about a twist in society that has now come to Kansas.

The state began issuing concealed carry permits in January 2007, and since then 13,175 of your fellow residents have obtained a license to hide a gun on their person or in their vehicle.

After training, a test, paperwork, a background check and $150 in fees, at least one reporter from the Journal-World is among them.

Now, I just have to figure out where I'm going to put the thing.

¢¢¢

I'm spinning around in front of the mirror because I want to see how visible a pistol is from underneath my blazer. The pistol isn't much bigger than my cell phone, but no one freaks out when they see your cell phone hanging from your belt.

The left hip position is convenient, and the pistol is tough to spot. But there is one problem. If I have to get anything out of my left pocket - like my cell phone - the pistol becomes visible. Actually, there are two problems. The blazer won't button.

I'm going to attribute that to the gun.

So, I change blazers and gun positions. This time I strap it on my belt in the square of my back. It is not nearly as accessible, and my blazer has a vent in the back. It would be easy for the gun to show through.

Next, I try my pants' pocket. At first, I carried the pistol - unloaded at the moment - without the holster. I didn't like that. The first thing my hand touched when I went to reach for it was the trigger. I put the pistol back in the holster and then put the holster in my pocket. You'd never know it was there, but it isn't very accessible.

Finally, I go back to the hip. This time I place the gun in a spot between my hip bone and the square of my back. Even when I open my blazer fully, the gun isn't seen. And it is accessible.

I drew and cocked it in about three seconds. Come on, I knew you were curious.

I grab my keys and my clip. With a quick slide and a click, I'm loaded and ready to start the day.

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Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs.

At least, that's what I thought would be the case when I undertook this experiment. You know the signs. The ones on the front doors of businesses stating no guns allowed.

But I found there aren't as many signs out there as I thought. In reality, a concealed carry permit holder can take a loaded gun lots and lots of places in Lawrence. On one day I decided to eat out for lunch. I thought my downtown restaurant choices would be limited. Not the case. I walked up and down Massachusetts Street from Seventh to 11th streets and casually looked for the no gun signs. I did not find any restaurant that prohibited me from entering. My gun and I had a $7 Cuban sandwich.

The service was no better or worse than normal.

I also shopped on South Iowa Street. I picked up a pack of diapers at a major, major retailer. My choices of places to shop on South Iowa were nearly unlimited.

Here's what really surprised me, though: There's a multitude of bars that I can enter with my loaded weapon. I thought that was a strict no-no under the law. But come to find out the law changed in mid-2007, Chuck Sexson, director of the concealed carry program for the Kansas Attorney General's office, told me. It used to be that any business that was considered a bar or tavern under the law was an automatically prohibited place, whether they had a sign on the door or not.

It is still illegal to carry under the influence, but now the law says you can go into any liquor-serving establishment as long as a sign isn't posted. The same is true for schools, churches and libraries, which all used to be automatically prohibited locations.

So for most of the week, I spent my time looking for another type of sign - I looked for the unwritten yet not so subtle signs of how agitated my wife was with all this. As I've mentioned in previous reports, this is the one story my wife and I have agreed not to talk about. But I alerted her anyway.

I could say we've reached detente. But for one, that is a mighty fancy word. And two, it would be a lie.

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It pays to read the fine print if you're a concealed carry holder.

Most of the time keeping to a simple strategy of avoiding those places with the no-gun signs will keep you out of trouble. But there are exceptions.

One is the post office, or any other federal building. Most don't have the no-gun signs but prohibit concealed carry anyway, Sexson said.

The bigger stumbling block, however, could be your employer. Here at the Journal-World, we do not have one of those no-gun signs on our doors. But that doesn't mean I can carry a gun to work. Our employee handbook states I can't. If I carried my pistol to work, I wouldn't be subject to a ticket and the misdemeanor offense. But I would be subject to discipline by my employer.

So for the largest part of everyday that I conducted this experiment, my gun sat locked in my truck in a parking lot. I didn't like the idea of leaving the gun loaded.

To ease my mind, I pulled the clip of ammunition from the gun and placed it in my pocket. It produced an extra jingle in my step as it mingled with my keys, and gave me one more thing to remember before I went to bed. Each night I removed it from my pocket. I don't know what would happen if my wife placed a clip of ammunition in the dryer. Probably nothing.

But I'm certain it wouldn't help achieve detente.

¢¢¢

I'm ending this project with the same number of holes that I started with. That was my ultimate goal when I decided to write these articles. I didn't want to blow my foot - or anything else - off in the process.

I had succeeded in that, and I was following through on what I had always envisioned would be the last step in these reports: Selling the gun.

Parting was not such sweet sorrow. That's not a commentary on concealed carry as much as it is on this particular pistol. I just never trusted it as much as I would have liked. A nice little revolver would have been more my style.

Selling the gun was even simpler than buying it, but that doesn't mean it was foolproof. I don't know all the legal ins-and-outs of selling a handgun to someone you happen to know or someone who happens to respond to an ad. But I know it happens.

I didn't go that route, though. When I bought the weapon, it became registered to me in a database. My biggest goal in selling the gun was to get it out of my name. I'm not sure how that happens if I sell it to some Joe Blow.

Instead, I went back to Jayhawk Pawn and Jewelry where I bought it. John Geery, the manager of the shop, assured me that since the pawn shop is a federally licensed gun dealer that the gun wouldn't be registered to me anymore. At his suggestion, I drew up a bill of sale and had him sign it to keep for my records.

He offered me $70 for the gun that I paid $140 for. I took it, and walked out of there with some peace of mind.

Of course, I also walked out of there with a concealed carry permit in my back pocket. Yes, it does bring up the question. Will I go buy that little revolver? Will I continue to carry a gun?

The answer: You'll just have to guess.

After all, that's the world we live in.

Comments

Jim Phillips 6 years, 6 months ago

I can settle the whole thing before it gets started. Go to www.ksag.org and follow the concealed carry links. It will bring up the entire statutes you can read at your leisure.

timetospeakup 6 years, 6 months ago

"When I bought the weapon, it became registered to me in a federal database." - BS, the federal government doesn't register guns, quit spreading this crap.

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

I just carry my shotgun and/or 30-06 with me whenever I do my shopping. They each have a lot more stopping power in case the undesirables get uppity and a long gun makes it easier to pretend I am Tom Horn.

Baille 6 years, 6 months ago

Sarcastic? Do you know how hard it is to drop a sheepherder from 200 yards using a gun that fits in your front pocket?

mom_of_three 6 years, 6 months ago

"They each have a lot more stopping power in case the undesirables get uppity and a long gun makes it easier to pretend I am Tom Horn."I know you are being sarcastic, but it doesn't make me feel any better.

timetospeakup 6 years, 6 months ago

jhwk2008 - you're also wrong. State law pre-empts any local laws for concealed carry permit holders AND the city code has an exception in there about permit holders too.

armyguy 6 years, 6 months ago

Although I am not sure, I believe that there was a state law that was passed to supersede towns like Lawrence from making illegal the intent of the CC laws, however I am sure that posters from all sides will be here soon to illustrate.

50YearResident 6 years, 6 months ago

Most accidental shootings happen with "unloaded" guns. Just removing the clip does not remove the bullet in the chamber. If the slide was indeed pulled back when holstering the weapon then there was still a live round in the chamber after removing the clip and the gun was in no way safe yet. Maybe a follow-up retraction is due for this article.

aeroscout17 6 years, 6 months ago

Here is the statute re: restricting local municipalities from passing more restrictive laws.KSA 12-16,124 http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatuteFile.do?number=/12-16,124.html

50YearResident 6 years, 6 months ago

1) "I grab my keys and my clip. With a quick slide and a click, I'm loaded and ready to start the day."2) "To ease my mind, I pulled the clip of ammunition from the gun and placed it in my pocket. It produced an extra jingle in my step as it mingled with my keys, and gave me one more thing to remember before I went to bed. Each night I removed it from my pocket. I don't know what would happen if my wife placed a clip of ammunition in the dryer. Probably nothing."50YearResident says, "I see no mention of taking the bullet out of the chamber so you are lucky you didn't shoot yourself in an unmentionable area".

jhwk2008 6 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence City Code 14-408: CARRYING WEAPONS IN OR NEAR ANY BAR.http://www.lawrenceks.org/city_code/system/files/chapter14.pdf(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a firearm within a drinking establishment or on publicly accessible property in close proximity to the premises of any drinking establishment.(A) Definitions(1) "Alcoholic Liquor" means alcohol, spirits, wine, beer and every liquid or solid, patented or not, containing alcohol, spirits, wine, or beer, and capable of being consumed as a beverage by a human being, but shall not include any cereal malt beverage.(2) "Cereal Malt Beverage" means any fermented but undistilled liquor brewed or made from malt or from a mixture of malt or malt substitute, but does not include any such liquor that is more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight.(3) "Close proximity" means property any part of which is within 200 feet, except that if any portion of the contiguous area of a park, unimproved lot, parking garage or parking lot is within 200 feet then the entire contiguous area of the parking lot or parking garage is within close proximity.(5) "Drinking establishment" means premises where alcoholic liquor is sold by the drink and every premises licensed for that purpose.(6) "Firearm" means an object having the design or capacity to propel a projectile by force of an explosion, gas, or other combustion.(7) "Possession" means exercising actual or constructive dominion or control over an object.(9) "Within a drinking establishment" means any area on the premises of a drinking establishment where alcoholic liquor may be lawfully consumed.(F) Any person who is convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished as follows: (Ord. 8082)(1) On a first offense the person shall be fined in an amount not less than $500 or more than $2500, and shall be sentenced to a jail term of at least 30 days but not more than one year.(2) On a second offense the person shall be fined in an amount not less that $1000 or more than $2500 and shall be sentenced to a jail term of at least 90 days but no more than one year.(3) On a third or subsequent offense the person shall be fined $2500 and shall be sentenced to a jail term of at least 180 days but no more than one year.

Jim Phillips 6 years, 6 months ago

True, but the first step in getting the hose to drink is to lead him to the water. The facts have been provided, I'm just waiting for one of them to admit the facts are not relavent to their argument.

igby 6 years, 6 months ago

jhwk2008: What's the point! The state law changed. If you have to shoot someone in a bar, just take the sign down when you leave. Lol.

Tricky Gnosis 6 years, 6 months ago

So 13,000 CCWs later -- where's this vast surge in shootings and gun crime we were told was going to happen? I distinctly remember apocalyptic predictions of blood in the streets and gun fights at traffic lights. Could it possibly be that law-abiding citizens with guns don't actually make the world more dangerous???

sfjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

It is such a fascinating coincidence that the same people that carry guns also hate Obama, are scared to death of same sex marriage, are climate change deniers, are bush fluffers and have tiny wieners? This is twilight zone stuff here folks.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

Interesting that this story was pulled for a few days and is now back with the factual errors still intact.

BrianR 6 years, 6 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says:They don't read around here; they "feel".I feel like a Guinness.What's so wrong about that?

getreal 6 years, 6 months ago

Bad Liberal wrote: "So 13,000 CCWs later - where's this vast surge in shootings and gun crime we were told was going to happen? I distinctly remember apocalyptic predictions of blood in the streets and gun fights at traffic lights.Could it possibly be that law-abiding citizens with guns don't actually make the world more dangerous???"Do they make us any safer is the question? Absolutely no evidence to support that theory that proponents of CC threw around. Yet i read just the other day about another child being shot by accident by a gun in their own home. I'll leave my safety to law enforcement -not some weekend Clint Eastwood.

compmd 6 years, 6 months ago

Baille, that was you?! I'm the guy with the 91/30 slung across my back when I go to Dillons! :) However, some of us have concealable pistols that are frighteningly accurate at 100 yds...On second thought, carrying the 91/30 would get a lot of looks. Heck, whenever I go to the range and pull that monster out, everyone stares at me.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

Clayton Cramer and David Burnett keep track of civilians using guns in self-defense reported in newspapers around our great country at:http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/blogger.htmlProtecting yourself and your loved ones is not unlike the auto tire business where it is said "the rubber meets the road"!

Jim Phillips 6 years, 6 months ago

sfjayhawk--So what other Liberal propoganda wouid you like to bring up? You missed several topics the doom and gloom crowd preach as gospel.

Tricky Gnosis 6 years, 6 months ago

Getreal writes "Do they make us any safer is the question? Absolutely no evidence to support that theory that proponents of CC threw around. Yet i read just the other day about another child being shot by accident by a gun in their own home."An excellent example of question dodging. Gun safety in the home has nothing to do with concealed carry. The question was "where is the vast surge in gun violence?" We were assured by those against a CCW law that there would be blood in the streets from citizens doing things like losing their tempers and getting into firefights at traffic lights.That has not happened. CCW does not make us less safe.

BlackVelvet 6 years, 6 months ago

Guardian wrote: "True, but the first step in getting the hose to drink is to lead him to the water. The facts have been provided, I'm just waiting for one of them to admit the facts are not relavent to their argument.Guardian, why do you want to get a hose to drink?

monkeyhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Will Chad be getting a mammogram for his next "expose "?

lounger 6 years, 6 months ago

Guns are Bulsht! We dont need them hidden in this town.

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 6 months ago

BailleI'm with you...if you're going to carry a gun, carry a big gun...and carry it out in the open for all to see...and I like the combination of a shotgun and a rifle...got that up-close-short-range covered:as well as the "pick em off as they come over the horizon":

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 6 months ago

~chuckle~"However, some of us have concealable pistols that are frighteningly accurate at 100 yds"dang... it's getting deep in here this morning...

lilchick 6 years, 6 months ago

"stuckinthemiddle (Anonymous) says: ~chuckle~"However, some of us have concealable pistols that are frighteningly accurate at 100 yds"dang: it's getting deep in here this morning:"You might want to check these sites out as it's not at all impossible. http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Marksman-(Snipe)-With-a-Pistolhttp://www.handgunsmag.com/tactics_training/shot_022305/

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 6 months ago

What a man will do for a gun. - Chad Lawhorn*Are we still clinging to our religion and firearms, Mr. Lawhorn?

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 6 months ago

The Sych. - Pulling your handgun in self defense is THE last resort. If you pull it then you're certain that it's your only choice between you and great bodily harm/death. That's why it is CONCEALED carry. The perp doesn't know you have a handgun and you use that knowledge, or lack thereof, to your advantage. If someone is going to rob you and you have a firearm on your hip, they're most likely going to shoot first.

Eride 6 years, 6 months ago

"Anonymous userGuardian (Anonymous) says:I can settle the whole thing before it gets started. Go to www.ksag.org and follow the concealed carry links. It will bring up the entire statutes you can read at your leisure."It is fairly simple though so I will just state it. The Lawrence ordinance probating guns from being near bars does not apply to people with concealed carry permits. However, it does continue to apply to anyone without a permit.

Bob Forer 6 years, 6 months ago

Kneejerk said: ",If you shoot someone in self defense, there may be someone else with them."Precisely. Also, if you attempt to shoot someone in self-defense, they may be quicker at the draw and shoot. Ergo, c/c and carry is not a cure-all solution to the rash of violent crime infecting our society. In other words, it may be effective under some circumstances, but in others, such as this, it can contribute to the injury or death of the person defending himself with a concealed and carried handgun.

BigAl 6 years, 6 months ago

I still think that if you feel the need to carry a gun, you are compensating for the lack of something else.

Bob Forer 6 years, 6 months ago

For all you concealed and carry proponents: The victim in this weekend's double homicide didn't need the c/c law. You don't need to conceal and carry a firearm when you're in your own home. Had this ocurred on the street, and the robbery victim unarmed, there is a good possibility he would have been robbed only of his property, and not his life.The moral of the story: Sure, concealed and carry puts one in a position to defend oneself and one's property, but is it the best defense? I know this is all in hindsight, but sometimes, the best defense is to comply with the aggressor, and walk away with less property, less pride, but with your life intact. This is not to say that having the use of a firearm in defense is never the best position to be in, but at least here, had the victim not had a gun and shot the first assailant, he may have walked away with his life.

kneejerkreaction 6 years, 6 months ago

All speculation & conjecture Sychophant. You have no idea what would have happened had the victim not had a gun. Lesson learned? If you shoot someone in self defense, there may be someone else with them.Sounds as if none of the actors in this tragedy were particularly savory individuals anyway.

loki8025 6 years, 6 months ago

Why don't we just let the criminals do what they want how they want and when they want to do it, Why don't we just put our hands in our pockets and let criminals take from us with no chance of harm. That would be great. why don't I lay down and scream to all criminals" Hey, over here. Please come in and take everything from me. Take my wife, and don't forget the dogs please." Kneejerk, you got to be kidding oh wait knee jerk. I get it. Is that sarcastic enough to be a journalist for LJWorld?

unite2revolt 6 years, 6 months ago

Well it's reassuring that we can do that. When the law first was passed I thought that will be pointless in Lawrence I wouldn't be able to go anywhere. And for the author of the article thanks for the highlights, I imagine the "slide" you were referring to was the sliding in the magizine, and the "click" was the saftey.

Charles L Bloss Jr 6 years, 6 months ago

Even though more people are killed by .22 bullets than any other caliber, they have no stopping power. A .22 is just the right caliber to carry if you want to piss someone off that causes you to fear for your life and you empty your magazine into them. The little things bounce around inside the body and eventually a person can die from them, but it won't stop them from doing you harm. You obviously needed some counseling prior to writing your series of articles. The minimum caliber for self defense is .38 special, or .380. The .380 is a semi auto round, the other is a revolver round. Good thing you got rid of your little .22, before you hurt yourself. Thank you, Lynn

Charles L Bloss Jr 6 years, 6 months ago

P.S. No city ordinance means squat. The state is the only one that regulates concealed carry now. Just another reason why a bunch of liberal idiots, that no nothing at all about the subject, write a bunch of articles that are full of misinformation. I believe nothing I read in the Journal World. Thank you, Lynn

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