Archive for Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Law loosening restrictions on concealed carry renewals remains unchanged

John Geery shows a gun to a customer at Jayhawk Pawn and Jewelry, 1804 W. Sixth St., Monday, June 6, 2011.

John Geery shows a gun to a customer at Jayhawk Pawn and Jewelry, 1804 W. Sixth St., Monday, June 6, 2011.

June 7, 2011


A Kansas law that allows the blind and others with serious physical infirmities to carry concealed firearms in public places remains on the state’s books following the 2011 legislative session.

And now the state’s elected official responsible for overseeing the concealed carry program is declining to answer questions about the provision.

In February, the Journal-World reported that changes to the concealed carry law had removed the state’s ability to deny a license based on a person’s physical condition and had removed all requirements that people seeking to renew their license pass a test where they hit at least 18 of 25 targets with a firearm.

At the time, a spokesman with Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who oversees the concealed carry program, expressed surprise that the state no longer had such legal authority but said the issue would be researched further.

This week, the attorney general’s office confirmed that the state no longer has the ability to deny renewal applications based on concerns that the applicant can’t safely handle a firearm. The office also could not point to any efforts that Schmidt made to get the law changed during the recent legislative session.

“The state’s lawmakers have balanced various public policy interests in crafting the concealed carry law, and the attorney general will administer it as it is written — now and in the future,” Jeff Wagaman, deputy chief of staff for Schmidt, said in a written statement.

Schmidt — through Wagaman — declined to comment on why he did not seek a change in the law and declined to answer whether he thinks the lack of testing has weakened the law.

The top Democratic lawmaker in the Kansas House, however, said he thought lawmakers needed to conduct a more thorough review of the state’s concealed carry law, which has been modified several times since its passage in 2006.

“You certainly hope it doesn’t take some kind of tragedy to get people’s attention to see that we perhaps have made some mistakes in how we’ve changed this law,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence. “I think we do need to look at the law in a comprehensive way.”

Fewer denials

The changes, which took effect in 2010, removed a phrase from the law that gave the state the right to deny applicants a license if they “suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon.” The original law also required people applying for a renewal of their license to take a test that required them to hit at least 18 of 25 targets from distances ranging from 3 yards to 10 yards. But the new law removed that requirement as well. People applying for a license for the first time still are required to take the test.

Rep. Richard Carlson, R-St. Marys and a leading concealed carry proponent, defended the changes this week.

“I think it should be up to the individual,” Carlson said. “If they are a law-abiding citizen, then I think it should be self-determination of whether or not they are capable of it.”

But Carlson conceded that his approach could lead to people holding a license who could no longer pass the basic firearms test. He said that did not concern him.

“We tend to look for all the reasons why someone should not be qualified to carry concealed, but actually I think we should look for the reasons why they should be qualified,” Carlson said.

Loosened restrictions

Carlson said he expects future legislation to push for removal of the requirement that new applicants take the shooting test. Davis said he expects proposals to loosen the concealed carry law — or perhaps go to an Arizona-style system that allows anyone who can legally own a gun to carry concealed — to be introduced in the future.

Several changes to the law have been made since its passage in 2006. They include:

• A law change that allows concealed carry permit holders to carry their weapons into bars, schools, churches and libraries, unless the establishments post a no guns sign. In the original law, those places were automatically prohibited, regardless of whether a sign was posted.

• Changes that no longer require license holders to submit to a Breathalyzer test when a law enforcement officer has reason to believe the license holder is intoxicated. Previously, a refusal to take such a test resulted in the automatic suspension of the concealed carry license for three years.

• Removal of several offenses that prohibited a person from receiving a concealed carry license. People who originally were prohibited from receiving a license who now are eligible include: people with two misdemeanor DUI convictions in the past five years; people with misdemeanor drug convictions; people who have been convicted of carrying under the influence in another state; and individuals who have been declared in contempt of court for child support proceedings.


Jim Phillips 2 years, 10 months ago

What you all are forgetting is that a person seeking a concealed carry license has to pass a proficiency test with a handgun. So, unless a vision impaired person can miraculously put 18 out of 25 rounds in a center of mass target from distances of 3, 7 and 10 yards, he will not pass the course and therefore not get a CCH license. Thus, this is a moot point folks. Here's your sign.


blue73harley 2 years, 10 months ago

Driving vs gun ownership.

Driving = a privilege.

Gun ownership = a right.


denak 2 years, 10 months ago

My mother is blind, my father is blind and my son is blind. So, naturally, I went to them and asked them what they thought of this. All three of them did the "that is the stupidest s**t" laugh that people do. But here are their responses:

Father: "No, that's ridiculous" But after a moments thought he added the following: "So does this mean I can get a sawed off shotgun. I may not be able to hit a target 5 feet away but I'll manage to hit something"

Son: "Hell Nah" He is now polling his friends on Facebook. So far, the most common response is laughter. (I think most visually impaired people recognize the lunacy of this legislation)

Mom: "Heck no. I almost killed your Uncle once. My father, you know your grandfather, tried to teach me to shoot once. I shot at a target 10 feet away, it missed and ricochet off the trailer and hit the outhouse. My brother, you know your uncle, came hopping out, pulling his pants up and said, "*&#^#(( Can't someone take a ST around here without almost getting killed" Needless to say, your grandfather never tried to teach me to shoot again." (To be fair, my mother is dangerous even with a shopping cart)

Granted my sample population is rather small, but there are simply certain realities one has to recognize and allowing someone who is visually impaired to use a gun, in a non-controlled manner, is idiotic. Thump the 2nd Amendment all you want but gun ownership should be RESPONSIBLE gun ownership and if you can not adequately see well enough to hit a target, then you should not be allowed to own a weapon. The same with driving. Contrary to what people like to say, guns are not harmless inanimate object anymore than a car is and if a person can not see well enough to drive, they can not see well enough to own a firearm.


RoeDapple 2 years, 10 months ago

I fear dying from being shot by a blind schizophrenic concealed carry weapons holder about as much as stage 4 hemorrhoids. No. Even less.


tomatogrower 2 years, 10 months ago

I guess I can get a conceal carry now. I have terrible depth perception, and never could shoot well. Better hurry.


beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

The law was changed to allow the blind to carry in 2010. Shouldn't the headline state that the law remains changed?


mr_right_wing 2 years, 10 months ago

If I'm remembering my local history right (which admittedly I may not be) when Quantrill raided Lawrence a majority of this city was unarmed, there was no 'conceal & carry' back then. I believe a majority of the firearms in this city were in one centeral location though.

Think how much different history may have turned out had at least half this town been armed? Someone could have even done to Willie Q. what our Navy SEALS did to Bin Laden!

Innocent lives could have been saved and guilty ones taken.

Ah, well...what if, what if, what if.....


overplayedhistory 2 years, 10 months ago

Kansas the State that has managed to position itself to the right of Wyatt Earp.


beatrice 2 years, 10 months ago

How is a blind person carrying a gun into a bar supposed to see the "No guns allowed" sign at the entrance?

While I generally do not have a problem with C&C -- resonable laws require training and permits, which I favor -- this is taking it to the extreme. I really don't think a blind person should be shooting a gun in self defense while in public, or within range of where any bystanders might be. That is just asinine. The fact that an elected official is refusing to answer questions about his involvement in the softening of laws should upset everyone, including supporters.


Shelley Bock 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure the statistics are out there, so could someone answwer them:

  1. How many holders of a concealed weapon permit have used the weapon in self-defense?

  2. How many holders of a concealed weapon permit have used the weapon without just cause such as a murder or robbery?

  3. How many times has a weapon owned by a holder of a concealed weapon permit been used by another in a murder, robbery or other manner that is illegal?

For your information, I am not a supporter of concealed carry laws, but I wonder what the practical usage or misusage is. I don't want stories of such occurances, but actual stats should they exist. And, I don't want hypotheticals such as "concealed carry laws have prevented x number of crimes." Specifics from any governmental source or recognized entity. I would not consider NRA stats as being appropriate since: 1. It is an advocacy agency; and 2. I would question NRA willingness to recognize inappropriate weapon usage.

If the stats don't exist, so be it.


mr_right_wing 2 years, 10 months ago

Just as your computer keyboard doesn't cause spelling errors...guns don't kill people. In BOTH cases people are the ones responsible.

(Lkie me!)


Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

A few years back, I worked in a store that sold a lot of guns. I never felt comfortable holding or carrying one, for reasons that had best be left out of this forum.


LJ Whirled 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't have a gun, or any plans to get one, but I don't mind the idea that if some whack-job starts going Columbine, maybe some retired Marine or somebody like that might draw his concealed weapon and drop the guy before the toll goes higher.

I don't think a bunch of blind dope addicts are going to pony up the money and go to the effort to get the training and permit. The more reasonable expectation is that people who know what they are doing, and are capable of doing it safely, will be the ones who have concealed carry permits.

There are plenty of illegally carried weapons out there right now, in the hands of people who have less than honorable intentions. Let's let the good guys have a chance to fight back, if need be.


Kontum1972 2 years, 10 months ago

i want a M-79..grenade launcher with a 12 gauge drop-in for close combat....POOF,,your vapor


Randall Barnes 2 years, 10 months ago

ever seen d blind person shoot at a beeping target ? they are probably more accurate than you.


kscountryboy 2 years, 10 months ago

I have been blessed to be a native of this great state. I've lived here almost all of my life. I love the warm and caring people that I am surrounded by in these great Kansas communities. I love Kansas sunsets and the countryside. I love the hard working farmers and ranchers that invest blood and sweat to keep our state economy running. And I love Lawrence KS and the University of Kansas from where I left the farm to attend and graduate. But if there is one thing I can't stomach is the hippie liberal sentiment that festers in Lawrence. Where did this little pocket of hippie liberals come from? It is like nowhere else in the enire state. It's like a little black spot on this great state of conservatism. Small towns with hard working, God fearing people blanket the entire State. People who just want the gov't to stop taxing them so they can keep more of their hard earned dollars in their pockets. People can have different views, that's what makes the US great, but the Mass. Street Hippies of Lawrence have to understand that the entire State of Kansas has spoken through elections to bring us to this point. I dont want to pay for abortions, I dont want to pay for arts when we have such a shortfall, I don't want to pay for people who won't work because their unemployment benefits are "too good", I don't want to pay for people to buy Red Bull and doughnuts with their WIC Card. And finally I sure as heck don't care what Hippie Liberal Lawrence thinks about any law abiding US Citizen's right to carry a firearm.


kujayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

There is something about a blind person firing a weapon that is really disturbing.


Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 10 months ago

"the concealed carry law had removed the state’s ability to deny a license based on a person’s physical condition"

So, a bit of trouble with schizophrenia is not a problem?

Must not be, since it's considered to be a physical condition of the brain.


jayhawklawrence 2 years, 10 months ago

I have enrolled in the class and will be getting my concealed carry license soon.

I worked in the gun industry and have associated with manufacturers of gun parts for many years. In my experience, the people that make the effort to achieve this license are the kind of neighbors I want to have around for a long time.

This is a citizens right and I am glad this right has not been taken away from us.

There are people who just naturally fear firearms and the people who own and use them.

There is a big difference between criminals and good citizens and you hope the latter will be armed if you need them.


Brock Masters 2 years, 10 months ago

Keep in mind there are different degress of blindness. A person can be legally blind but still see well enough to shoot an attacker especially at close range. And considering their disability I'd like to give them every opportunity to survive an attack and not become a victim.


Paula Kissinger 2 years, 10 months ago

"Changes that no longer require license holders to submit to a Breathalyzer test when a law enforcement officer has reason to believe the license holder is intoxicated. Previously, a refusal to take such a test resulted in the automatic suspension of the concealed carry license for three years."

Excuse me...but that is crap. The law is that if you are stopped by a LEO and he/she believes you are intoxicated and you are asked to submit to an intox and you refuse you go to jail, you do not pass go. You can have guns, knives, handgrenades or anything else...that is the law. Concealed carry has nothing to do with it. This is so stupid.


somedude20 2 years, 10 months ago

That deaf, dumb, and blind kid sure shoots a mean bullet


DillonBarnes 2 years, 10 months ago

This is hardly really news anyway. What does this article say? Nothing has changed since last time we did a story on this, but here's a chance to get riled up about it.


Getaroom 2 years, 10 months ago

tolawdjk. Better not go to Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop without your body armor either. Guns in shops allowed to sell such firearms typically are displayed barrel toward the front of the case or the side of the gun slightly diagonal for good viewing. No ammo is allowed to be chambered in those guns. Removing the requirement to pass a shooting performance test, no matter how minimal, is insane. In fact anyone purchasing a hand gun should be required to show functional and practical abilities to handle a weapon of any caliber, perhaps other than a BB gun since you can buy those at any Walmart, etc. Since this nation has had firearms from it's beginnings and will likely continue to do so and in spite of all the fear generated by Obama haters, conceal carry laws should at minimum require an individual to show their ability to handle the weapon before being allowed to carry either openly or concealed. I just think its too bad the world condition is such that we feel the need to do so period.


RoeDapple 2 years, 10 months ago

"Am I going to have to strap on body armor to go into Jayhawk Pawn?"

Nope! Although I have made purchases there in the past I too noticed many handling and display issues concerning firearms. I no longer go there, although they are adding square footage to the building. Looks like they don't need my business anyway.


getreal 2 years, 10 months ago

If there are any businesses considering a move to Kansas and they have read the local news in the last few weeks, I'm betting they are looking elsewhere. Blind people allowed to conceal and carry, abolishment of the Arts Commission, and gutting of public school funding. I can't imagine anyone choosing this environment to relocate their business. After 45 years in Kansas we are considering where we might like to live, and we aren't looking at what the tax rate is, we are looking for places that value the arts and education. That used to be Kansas, but not any more.


tolawdjk 2 years, 10 months ago

While I personally don't have a handgun, I do have several rifles and shotguns (I've not seen much luck in hitting quail with a glock).

Anyway, maybe those of you with more experience than me can answer something that has me curious.

Looking over the seller's shoulder there appears to be a couple pistols displayed barrel out, head high. Now, I know I wouldn't store my weapons at home that way, but is this an acceptable method for a vendor to display a firearm? With the business end at the customer? How do I know the thing isn't loaded, chambered, and ready to fire like that? If space is an issue, wouldn't it be better to do a 180 on all of those and display it that way?

Am I going to have to strap on body armor to go into Jayhawk Pawn?


somedude20 2 years, 10 months ago

So blind people can carry guns and shoot at will but the state wants strippers to keep their clothes on? Huh. So blind people can have their driver's license revoked by the state but they can still have a loaded handgun to blindly fire at will? Wow! I am all for people having firearms if they want but this nuts


ratfamily 2 years, 10 months ago

Seriously...that dump i just took....huge.


Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

Just making stuff up to fit his narrative, that's our bozo!


drake 2 years, 10 months ago

The ATF actually ruled that our concealed carry laws in Kansas are stringent enough to exempt cc licensees from having to submit to the instant background check when purchasing firearms from dealers. Finally a case of the Feds getting out of the way of States' rights.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

There really only need to be a couple of additional restrictions-- CC license holders must be registered Republicans and confirmed as born-again Christians. After all, isn't that how God wants it?


jjt 2 years, 10 months ago

Does this mean that someone can literally walk down Mass street with a loaded sidearm in a holster on their belt as long as the gun and holster are in plain sight?


oldvet 2 years, 10 months ago

LJW has an article on concealed carry and they put a picture of a guy looking at a Desert Eagle... not exactly your cc handgun. Dirty Harry on steroids.


Pete_Schweti 2 years, 10 months ago

Why is his finger on the trigger?! Does Jayhawk Pawn & Jewelry not train their own employees on safe gun handling?


H_Lecter 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm thinking a pair of sunglasses and a visit to the gun shop is in order.


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