Opinion

Opinion

Common sense

Changes that have been made to the state’s 5-year-old concealed carry law deserve a second look.

June 8, 2011

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The elimination of certain requirements to obtain or renew a license to carry a concealed firearm in Kansas simply defies common sense.

When the state’s concealed carry law was passed in 2006, many Kansans had concerns about its impact. Those concerns have only been heightened by various changes that have taken place in the law since it went into effect. The original law, for instance, banned concealed firearms from bars, schools, churches and libraries. A change in the law allows concealed firearms in those places unless a “no guns” sign is posted. Another change removed the requirement that concealed carry license holders take a Breathalyzer test if a law enforcement officer had reason to suspect the person was intoxicated.

It also has come to light that most of the provisions that ensure a person is physically able to handle a firearm have been eliminated. The state no longer can deny a license to applicants based on their physical condition and, once a license is issued, it can be renewed without having a vision or shooting accuracy test. There is no provision to address declines in physical abilities that accompany the natural aging process.

That’s fine, according to one legislator who spoke to the Journal-World. “I think it should be up to the individual,” said Rep. Richard Carlson of St. Marys. “If they are a law-abiding citizen, then I think it should be self-determination of whether or not they are capable of it.”

A comparison with the state’s drivers license laws seems apt. We would like to think that every aging driver in the state would have the sense to know when to quit driving. However, Kansas doesn’t leave that to chance. Drivers under 65 must pass an eye exam every six years to renew their licenses. Those over 65 must pass an exam every four years.

Kansas has that law because people who can’t see or have obvious physical disabilities are a danger not only to themselves but to everyone else with whom they share the road. Is it not obvious that the same principle applies to someone who legally carries a concealed firearm into a public place? Even if that weapon is used legitimately as protection from someone posing an imminent threat, the chances that innocent bystanders will be hurt expands greatly if the person holding the gun has a visual or physical impairment.

Although all of these changes went into effect last year, there was little or no effort to undo any of the provisions in the 2011 legislative session. Maybe legislators didn’t want to appear anti-concealed carry, but, as we noted at the outset, some of these provisions are anti-common sense. They certainly deserve a second look by state lawmakers.

Comments

50YearResident 3 years, 10 months ago

So the Editor is more concerned about the safety of innocent bystanders than he is concerned about the people with visual or physical impairments being able to protect themselves? Tell me Mr. Editor, just how many innocent bystanders do you know of that have been injured by any concealed carry license holders, either impaired or not, since the original bill was passed in 2006? I have not read or heard of any such incents in the State of Kansas. So it either has not happened or it's being kept out of the news. I think you will find that when and if a physically impared person is placed in imminent danger requiring their use of a concealed weapon there won't be any bystanders around to be injured anyway. So do you really want to deny these people the ability to defend themselves?

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 10 months ago

Uh...why are you referring to situations under the old restrictions? No one is saying the old restrictions were bad...just that the NEW ones, i.e. none, are totally illogical.

And how does someone defend themselves with a firearm when they are totally blind? Or blind drunk? Or can't hit the broad side of a barn? Or have never been trained how to operate the gun safely? Are they supposed to just start firing willy-nilly?

Think of all the families who had older family members who became a danger behind the wheel but were still firmly convinced they could drive safely. My mom was one of them. We took the keys away after she blithely drove down the wrong side of the street and had no idea she was doing so because her eyesight was so bad. This had nothing to do with her being a law-abiding citizen...it had everything to do with her not realizing the seriousness of her condition and her "self-determination" that she could see well enough to drive and didn't want to give up her freedom. She didn't kill an innocent bystander either. But she still shouldn't have been driving.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

Let's check back after they remove the restrictions.

That's the whole point.

Satirical 3 years, 10 months ago

  • 1

I thought liberals were all about helping those that are in need. Yet according to this editorial, if you have a disability, you can't defend yourself with a gun, and the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to you. I guess common sense isn't all that common.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 10 months ago

-1

Why come with that 'liberal' troll B.S.? Frankly, I'm sick to death of people throwing the left/right/, liberal/conservative mantras around. This is America and it's We the People. That left/right crapola is a ploy used to divide and conquer us, and it's working like a champ.

FYI: I"m what you might call a 'liberal.' I'm also a disabled army vet who's had my KS CCW license since 2006. I just renewed my license a few months back and was disappointed that the state does not require more to renew. I think a 4-hr refresher course and some weapons qualification (shooting targets) should be required to renew.

Satirical 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh, and and where are all the Wild West shootouts that were suppose to occur after the concealed carry law was passed? Wasn't the sky suppose to fall also? Looks like some individuals are looking to find a solution to something that isn't a problem.

gudpoynt 3 years, 10 months ago

So...... as a result of lifting common sense regulations, an individual can now easily renew their license to carry a concealed handgun even though they may have completely lost the ability to fire it accurately.

Take a step back from your anti-liberal hissy fit and listen to how stupid that sounds.

You do realize that you can be an advocate for gun rights WITHOUT relinquishing all common sense.

oldvet 3 years, 10 months ago

While I personally have no issue with being tested for accuracy and ability when my CC permit is renewed (25 rounds into a silhouette target at 15 feet... oh please!), I find it interesting that this is compared to renewing a drivers license where the only requirement is to pass an eye exam... no driving test, no requirement to show the ability to drive a car in traffic. There may be a lot more dangerous drivers out there than there are blind CC holders. The state might want to address this real issue...

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

That's a good point.

I think we should also make sure that people can pass a driving test.

rwwilly 3 years, 10 months ago

The NRA has done absolutely a stupendous (seriously,...meant as a compliment) job and they are much to be admired for convincing the general public that ANY further encroachment on the public's right to bear arms is the beginning of the end of life. Go figure. I am a gun owner but I have not yet lost my sense of perspective.

somedude20 3 years, 10 months ago

all of these restrictions with abortion when you can just abort someone (while blind and drunk) with your handgun, sweet.

Let freedom ring with a shotgun's blast!

Sir, he died of lead poisoning

Peacemaker452 3 years, 10 months ago

Several states (3, I believe) have rightfully removed all restrictions and permitting requirements. They do not have any of the problems that some of you seem to think will happen in Kansas. Any comments as to why?

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

Arizona is one of those states. Why not ask Congresswoman Giffords if there have been any problems with people without permits pulling guns out and shooting people.

I don't have a problem with C&C permits, but just allowing anyone to drop a gun in their pocket and go walking about town without any training at all is just foolhardy.

Peacemaker452 3 years, 10 months ago

Is that really the best you could do?

The shootings in Arizona had nothing to do with concealed or open carry, permitted or not. The shootings have everything to do with a (court certified) whacko who was never properly diagnosed because no one wanted to press the issue.

It is extremely doubtful that any restrictions on gun ownership would have prevented this whacko from doing others harm.

I am pretty sure we had a similar discussion a few months ago and will probably never agree completely on the subject, but trying to tie this situation to gun laws is intellectually and morally equivalent to going back to the “Its Palin’s fault” argument.

roadwarrior 3 years, 10 months ago

Note to predators of the disabled and elderly ? assume nothing. (giggle)

beatrice 3 years, 10 months ago

By the way, anyone recall the story two years ago of the Oklahoma pharmacist who shot a would-be robber, left his store to pursue a second thief, then came back and unloaded on the person on the ground still in his store? He was recently found guilty of murder and will now spend the rest of his life in prison. http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-pharmacist-found-guilty-of-murder/article/3571542

Training is important, because sometimes when someone believes they are defending themself, they may go overboard and end up in jail. Just food for thought.

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