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Archive for Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kansas law change may allow even blind to carry concealed

February 12, 2011

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In the state of Kansas, to carry a concealed firearm you need a gun — preferably something that fits nice under your jacket, in your pocket or perhaps in your purse.

You also need a license, the state’s seal of approval that you can hide a firearm on your person.

What’s less clear is whether you need eyesight. It certainly is suggested, unquestionably helpful. But following a change in state law, it is no longer clear whether it is required.

Kansas legislators during the last session approved a number of changes to the state’s concealed carry law. One of them was that people who are renewing their license no longer have to take any sort of test to prove they’re still proficient with a firearm.

The changes also removed language from the law that gave the attorney general the right to deny applicants a license if they “suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon.”

A spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt — whose office oversees the concealed carry program — conceded this week that the office is uncertain whether it has the authority to deny a concealed carry license renewal for any physical reason, even if the applicant is blind.

“We are currently working to determine the intent of the Legislature when this change was made during the 2010 legislative session,” Jeff Wagaman, deputy chief of staff for Schmidt, said in a statement.

About 30,000 Kansans are licensed to carry concealed firearms. The fact that none of them may ever have to prove to the state again that they can safely fire a weapon brought varying reactions, depending upon which side of the gun debate you’re on.

“From my experience, the people who have a license are people who continue to practice with this,” said George Pisani, a Lawrence resident who is a concealed carry instructor and supporter of the law change. “They are cognizant of the fact that if they ever have to use a weapon to protect themselves that vision is pretty important. I think there is a lot of self-policing that goes on.”

Brian Malte, director of state legislation for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, isn’t surprised by the change. He said he sees gun lobbyists across the country successfully persuading state legislatures to remove training requirements and other regulations related to concealed carry.

“I call it the walking, talking slippery slope,” Malte said. “That’s the gun lobby. They set up a system that involves weapon proficiency and testing and then they work bit by bit to repeal each piece of it until it leads to what they have in Arizona, where you don’t even need a permit.”

• • •

What the change unquestionably has led to in Kansas is an absurd question by a journalist: Can a blind man legally have a concealed carry permit in Kansas?

That’s the question the Journal-World posed to the Kansas attorney general’s office after a review of the statutes no longer appeared to contain any provisions allowing the state to factor in a person’s physical ability or proficiency when renewing a license.

To be clear, a test is still required for new applicants. Those who have never had a license in the state are required to attend an eight-hour class, and to successfully hit 18 of 25 targets from distances ranging from 3 yards to 10 yards. That class and test have been eliminated for people seeking to renew.

Kansas concealed carry licenses are valid for four years. That brings up the possibility that during the four-year period the person’s physical condition has changed to the point that he could no longer pass that test.

Or think of it this way: The person gets his license when he’s 40. Forty years later, he’s on his 10th renewal cycle and is now 80 years old. Could he still pass the test?

To take it one step further, what if he has gone blind in those four years or 40 years? If he sent in his application, would it get renewed?

After about two days of searching the statutes, Wagaman at the attorney general’s office essentially said the office wasn’t sure.

“We appreciate you pointing this out,” Wagaman said in a response to an e-mail that asked the question about a blind applicant and several others.

• • •

Granted, it probably isn’t likely that someone who is blind will seek to renew a concealed carry permit. But lots of people know of someone’s grandmother or grandfather who insists they can still drive despite declining eyesight. Replace the car with a gun, and that scenario might be more likely.

Or what if a daughter calls the attorney general’s office and says her elderly father who is renewing his concealed carry permit has Parkinson’s disease to such a degree that he can’t hold a cup of tea, let alone a gun? Could the state require that applicant to take a proficiency test?

Again, Wagaman said he was unsure, and said the office was trying to determine the legislative intent. Schmidt, before being elected attorney general, was a member of last year’s legislature and voted for the changes.

The state’s renewal application does require an applicant to swear to several facts under the penalty of perjury. But none of them is related to their ability to safely handle a weapon. That, too, was changed during the last legislative session.

Previously, applicants had to swear that they met all the requirements of a specific section of the state’s concealed carry code. Prior to last year, that section included the clause that affirmed the applicant “does not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon.” That language has been stricken from the law.

• • •

Legislators had varying reactions to the changes. Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence and the House Minority Leader, didn’t vote for the changes but said he understands that people do not want to have to go through unnecessary bureaucracy to have a state license renewed. But he said a change requiring people retake the test after a certain number of years have lapsed from their original test may be warranted.

Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, did support the law changes — Knox is the legislator who plans to introduce legislation limiting the ability of universities and local governments to post “no gun” signs on their buildings — but he said this week some of the scenarios that could arise by not testing deserved thought.

“I think there are some valid questions there,” Knox said.

But he stopped short of saying he would seek to make changes to the law.

“I have a lot of confidence in the average Kansan,” Knox said. “I think a lot of people who have concealed carry don’t carry that much because they realize the gravity of it. It is a tremendous responsibility. I trust people in general.”

• • •

Making any change to the law may be tough. The National Rifle Association, which helped craft the state’s original concealed carry law and the most recent changes, said the proficiency issue was overblown.

Jordan Austin, the Kansas state lobbyist for the NRA, said his organization likely would oppose changes that even stopped short of requiring full proficiency testing for renewals. For example, everybody who renews a concealed carry license must go to a Kansas driver’s license office to get their picture taken. All Kansas driver’s license offices have eye testing machines. But Jordan said the NRA likely would oppose any effort to make concealed license holders take an eye test upon renewal.

“I don’t ever see that being an idea that we would endorse,” Austin said. “It is not necessary. Why should you be required to maintain some sort of correct vision to exercise a right? You could have left your glasses at home, you could wear contact lenses. It is a subjective standard set by a government agency.”

For the NRA, Austin said, the issue comes down to the Second Amendment. He said recent Supreme Court rulings have affirmed that people have a right to own a gun for protection. He believes that right extends to people being able to carry a weapon concealed, and questions whether concealed carry licenses should even be a part of state laws in the future.

Several states, with Arizona being the most prominent, no longer require individuals to have a license to carry concealed firearms. Austin believes that eventually will be the law in Kansas too.

“I see Kansas going in that direction in the not too distant future,” Austin said. “It probably won’t happen this legislative session, but I wouldn’t doubt that it gets considered soon.”

Comments

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 2 months ago

Ted Nugent discusses the 2nd Amendment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1bEuq7irQA

I'm with Ted! The 2nd Amendment IS my concealed carry permit.

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gonzo53 3 years, 2 months ago

Has there been a rash of blind concealed carry holders shooting up the place? I may have missed those news stories.

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520dude 3 years, 2 months ago

Somewhere in Lawrence, definitely.

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beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

So people are actually in favor of allowing the blind to conceal and carry? I didn't see that one coming.

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arizonajh 3 years, 2 months ago

Chzypoof1

There have been 288 people killed by CCL holders since May 2007 including 9 law enforcement officers, 18 mass shootings and 25 muder-suicides according to the Violence Policy Center. You can read the details about each case here.

http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

Does anybody know where I could find a man-purse that'll hold a long-slide 1911?

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chzypoof1 3 years, 2 months ago

Bozo/others: Still waiting on the links from the Legal, CCL holders killing people. I only have so much time until everyone gives up on this thread and just assumes that guns are super scary...

Tick tock...

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seeker_of_truth 3 years, 2 months ago

Because if there were less guns available, then homicide rate would not even be in top 15.

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Peacemaker452 3 years, 2 months ago

Blind concealed carry permit holders are almost as big of a threat to Kansas as voter fraud, illegals getting in state tuition and mountain lions roaming the streets.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 2 months ago

I just renewed my CCHL and was surprised there was not a requirement for retraining and qualification. Retraining should be a requirement; if someone goes blind then they'll never be able to qualify again. They could also add an additional question to the renewal application asking "Do you have any disbility that will keep you from safely operating a firearm?"

Final thought: epidemic of gun violence, huh? Where are people coming up with this misinformation? There is no epidemic of gun violence. As a matter of fact, violent crime has been steadily declining in thie country for quite some time now. Most gun deaths come from suicide and more Americans are killed in car accidents than by guns....

Just a bunch of fear mongering by the anti-gun wing nuts. Why you mad, Bro?

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvsr58_19.pdf

"The age-adjusted death rate in 2007 was 760.2 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population, a record low value that was 2.1 percent lower than the 2006 rate of 776.5."

"Since 1980, the age-adjusted death rate has decreased every year except 1983, 1985, 1988, 1993, and 1999."

By rank, the 15 leading causes in 2007 were: 1. Diseases of heart (heart disease) 2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 3. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) 4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5. Accidents (unintentional injuries) 6. Alzheimer’s disease 7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes) 8. Influenza and pneumonia 9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease) 10 Septicemia 11. Intentional self-harm (suicide) 12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension) 14. Parkinson’s disease 15. Assault (homicide)

The 15 leading causes of death in 2008 (Table B) were as follows: 1 Diseases of heart 2 Malignant neoplasms 3 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 4 Cerebrovascular diseases 5 Accidents (unintentional injuries) 6 Alzheimer’s disease 7 Diabetes mellitus 8 Influenza and pneumonia 9 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis 10 Septicemia 11 Intentional self-harm (suicide) 12 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 13 Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease 14 Parkinson’s disease 15 Assault (homicide)

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snoozey 3 years, 2 months ago

If you think about it, all weapons are concealed to the blind, so...

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rtwngr 3 years, 2 months ago

“I call it the walking, talking slippery slope,” Malte said. “That’s the gun lobby. They set up a system that involves weapon proficiency and testing and then they work bit by bit to repeal each piece of it until it leads to what they have in Arizona, where you don’t even need a permit.”

Yeah, there are a lot of problems with the blind people of Arizona and their concealed carry laws.

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yankeevet 3 years, 2 months ago

Its getting to be like the wild wild west anymore!!!

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 2 months ago

Send Babies home from the hospital with little loaded guns.

Give them to nursing homes to Alzheimers patients.

Pass them out as favors to trick or treaters.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 2 months ago

What the change unquestionably has led to in Kansas is an absurd question by a journalist: Can a blind man legally have a concealed carry permit in Kansas?

---may not conceal, but if you're blind, you want that sawed-off shotgun to stop the baddie trying to get into your house. no trouble with precise aiming then.
and ... you'll stop him.

p.s. VA tech has a vehicle that blind people are driving today.

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Smalltalk 3 years, 2 months ago

The question of whether or not a visually handicapped person should be able to use a firearm or other weapon to defend their life should be a No-Brainer. Only those who get upset about "Those People" not riding at the "Back of the Bus" would wish to force a handicapped person to be a victim.

As for the weapon handling capability of a Visually Handicapped person that would surely be something that would have to be determined by that person. While I have limited personal experience with what are classed as the Blind I think from that limited experience that most can pinpoint locations with sound. Yes, that means the Blind won't be shooting the eyes out of a fly at 1000yds but if you are planning on getting close they might give you a problem.

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drederick_tatum 3 years, 2 months ago

how do I go about legally purchasing and owning my own bazooka

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 2 months ago

has the Journal World writer contacted anyone from the local blind community to find out how they see the issue of carrying a weapon?

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RugerLCP 3 years, 2 months ago

That's probably a violation of the TOS

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

Wondering if Chad ever upgraded that mouse gun he used while applying for his carry permit. That being said, in a sticky situation, a .22 you have with you is of more use than a .44 sitting in your safe at home.

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think_about_it 3 years, 2 months ago

What an inflamitory headline ljworld. You should be ashamed.

And "rights have limits". O M G Rights are rights.

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Armored_One 3 years, 2 months ago

Manditory vision tests, period. Manditory proficiency checks every 3 years.

If you can't see properly, you are more of a hazard than anything else. If you can't hold the firearm steady, the same thing as above applies.

Rights have requirements on them, or at least they should. You should have to prove you deserve the right to do certain things. You have to prove you can safely operate a 4-6 thousand pound missle before the give you a driver's license. Nobody seems to complain about this one.

If you can cause an imminent deadly threat with something, should have to prove you have the physical control, visual accuity and mental capacity to operate said item correctly.

Heck, you have to take tests to prove you can operate a forklift correctly.

I swear... politicians surrender self respect and integrity to do their job, and even that is a tongue-in-cheek observation. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make it more than one term, due to seriously upsetting a great number of people with more power than the average resident of Kansas, but I would love to get into politics, if only to rock the boat.

Nothing wrong with drawing a line in the sand, and being more than willing and capable of knocking back anyone that tries to cross it simply to say they could. We teach our children that we shouldn't tolerate some things in this life, but once you get elected, you have to tolerate everything?

Just like that old song goes...

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything...

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H_Lecter 3 years, 2 months ago

I can't imagine there being any discussion on this issue. If we care about equality, of course we'll allow the blind to have concealed carry permits. It's unfortunate enough that they have to live without sight; who are we to selfishly deny them legally concealing their handguns?

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Amy Heeter 3 years, 2 months ago

Ah blind justice make my day.

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chzypoof1 3 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately most of you, like Bozo, have nothing to back up your "gun control" works stories. Ask the people in the UK that are restricted from owning any weapons. They can't defend themselves. Crime is at an all time high (just read that last week) over there, yet they can't have guns....crazy

By the way...I challenge ALL of you to PROVE that a person with a CCL committed a crime or injured someone with their firearm. Just one link. come on....provide something to back up your story.....

One nutjob in AZ does not a justification make...

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Sparko 3 years, 2 months ago

Since Kansas needs jobs and to emphasize economic viability, concealed carry for the sight impaired seems like a natural point of emphasis. My goodness. The bind leading the blind sounds about right for the GOP in 2011.

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CycleRider 3 years, 2 months ago

Wow, mountain out of a mole hill much?

Let's see. About 30,000 Kansas residents are licensed to carry concealed. Of those, how many at any given time might go blind and still carry and use their firearm? Personally, I'm not going to lose any sleep over this possiblity. And if a person is truly concerned about this possibility, they should really worry about:

How many drivers are currently licensed in the state of KS? According to the web, there are appoximately 2.8 million Kansas residents. Just for a round number, let's say that 1/2 of those are licensed and drive on a daily basis. That would be about 1.4 million people driving 4000 lb projectiles on the road each and every day. Shouldn't you be appalled that they only require a vision check every 6 years for these people? Can you imagine how many people are driving around on a DAILY basis with impaired vision since their last check? So, with this in mind, should we require vision checks for licensed drivers every 3 years? Or 1 year? How about we install a vision checking device in all new cars sold that would require a vision test before every engine start? I hope everyone understands just how deadly 2 thousand pound vehicles really are and the real risk that there are licensed drivers that have no business being on the road because of vision impairment. Yet, I haven't seen a front page article in the LJ World pointing out just how deadly of a situation this really is or any discussion on doing something about it.

I know, it's not nearly as exciting as an article about the miniscule number of CHL licensees who just might go blind and still have a license and actually carry.

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BigPrune 3 years, 2 months ago

Blind Ray stopped a thief at Ray's Music Exchange. I do not know if the link will work, but there is no swearing or anything "adult" in the clip. Of course Dan Akroyd and John Belushi are in it as well. http://www.mefeedia.com/movie/10931390

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mom_of_three 3 years, 2 months ago

So we do a little eye test every 6 years (?) for driver's license, but it isn't required for a gun license renewal?

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pace 3 years, 2 months ago

I think blind people need their guns when they go out to shoot fish.

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macon47 3 years, 2 months ago

our legislators have too much time on thier hands if this is worrisome to them

we have more serious problems and blind people wih guns are not of them

i am more scared of the govt than a blind person with a gun
what a waste of resources

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

In other news: "GENEVA — Neutral Switzerland is among the best-armed nations in the world, with more guns per capita than almost any other country except the United States, Finland and Yemen.

At least 2.3 million weapons lie stashed in basements, cupboards and lofts in this country of less than 8 million people, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey.

On Sunday, Swiss voters made sure it stays that way, rejecting a proposal to tighten the peaceful Alpine nation's relaxed firearms laws.

The decision was hailed as a victory by gun enthusiasts, sports shooters and supporters of Switzerland's citizen soldier tradition...."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7425601.html

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sr80 3 years, 2 months ago

i'm just spinning in a mindboggling vortex of legislative stupidity.this takes the cake,no ifs,ands or buts!!!!!man oh man!!!!!

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pizzapete 3 years, 2 months ago

I have an image of Ray Charles pulling out a gun and shooting at a shop lifter in the movie the Blues Brothers. What a classic movie.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Pisani said: “They are cognizant of the fact that if they ever have to use a weapon to protect themselves that vision is pretty important. I think there is a lot of self-policing that goes on.”

Whew! For a second there I thought gun nuts were really idiotic.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 2 months ago

The fastest way to pass gun control measures is to encourage hoards of young black and hispanic men to apply for and receive CC permits.

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DillonBarnes 3 years, 2 months ago

You know what bugs me the most. They use that danged picture for every concealed carry story! Not to mention it's only a little .22 LR, come on!

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jessanddaron 3 years, 2 months ago

Snap crackle, have you ever been to Mexico? And no, I'm not talking about a gated resort in Cancun. I don't know where you come up with this notion that most citizens don't own firearms but that is completely inaccurate. Try going to a city like Tijuana or Guadalajara and you will come back with a completely different opinion. Since they can't trust the police down there, they protect themselves.

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PalinPalms 3 years, 2 months ago

Remember the bible says " Justice is Blind, "

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greenworld 3 years, 2 months ago

Cant be any different than people that can see that shoot at the first thing that moves.

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coderob 3 years, 2 months ago

Guess where the bad guys get there guns from, Snap? Our guns flow south like their drugs flow north. Besides, there are plenty of other countries that have gun bans but aren't violence plagued. Take most of Europe for example.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

If you are terrified by the thought of law-abiding citizens legally carrying firearms, you should go down to Mexico. Guns ownership is tightly restricted down there. Only the bad guys are packing.

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Brock Masters 3 years, 2 months ago

The biggest problem with the issue of gun ownership and possession is a general misunderstanding that gun ownership, possision, carry, etc. is not a privilege it is a right. Privileges like driving can have a higher level of restrictions placed upon them then rights.

Restrictions, conditions and infringement of rights must be very limited.

If you don't like the second amendment then change it, but until it is changed, it is a right and must be honored like all our other rights.

Keep in mind once we accept that limiting a Constitutional right because of a disability we set a precedence. No other rights are safe from the predjudices or ignorance of society. Want to make sure the mentally ill's rights are not infringed then support the rights of gun owners even those with disabilities. Let the person with the disability decide if they want to and can carry safely.

Want to protect the Constitutional rights of the transgendered? Then stand up for everyone's Constitutional rights. To do otherwise says that it is okay to infringe the rights of others if you have predjudice and bias.

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coderob 3 years, 2 months ago

I think blind people walking around with guns and NRA members walking around with guns are equally scary.

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Jimo 3 years, 2 months ago

Every year there's a contest for Stupidiest State. And every year Kansas is a semi-finalist. It's far more entertaining than American Idol and sadder than Biggest Loser.

Seriously Kansas: let someone else take the crown this year.

Isn't it amazing we spend millions annually to lure business and industry to Kansas (and millions more in uncollected tax revenues) just to make up for Kansas' often well deserved reputation?

Trusting self-regulating blind gunmen? As the Gipper said - Trust but verify.

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thuja 3 years, 2 months ago

Let blind people drive, too, then.

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Kevin Randell 3 years, 2 months ago

Ok......I am just a little disappointed here. Not ONE "hitting the broadside of the barn" comment.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

"Several states, with Arizona being the most prominent, no longer require individuals to have a license to carry concealed firearms. Austin believes that eventually will be the law in Kansas too."

You don't need a permit in Afghanistan or Somalia, either.

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Brock Masters 3 years, 2 months ago

So, being blind means you are to be denied your Constitutional rights? I know blind people who are quite responsible and who could pass the test. Under certain circumstances they could safely discharge a weapon to protect themselves. Why deny them their right?

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Bushloather1 3 years, 2 months ago

<Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, did support the law changes — Knox is the legislator who plans to introduce legislation limiting the ability of universities and local governments to post “no gun” signs on their buildings — but he said this week some of the scenarios that could arise by not testing deserved thought.

“I think there are some valid questions there,” Knox said.>

               Naah! What could possibly go wrong here? Blind people just need extended magazines to avoid missing whatever they can't see.
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aero_steve 3 years, 2 months ago

My first thought was WTF then I remembered there are Braille keypads at most drive though ATMs.

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bobberboy 3 years, 2 months ago

the blind to carry ? This is just plain stupid !

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tunahelper 3 years, 2 months ago

most law abiding citizens who own firearms are better shots than most law enforcement officers.

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