Archive for Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lawmakers won’t review concealed carry for blind

February 1, 2012


A little-known provision in Kansas law that allows the blind and other people with serious physical infirmities to carry concealed weapons in public places likely will not get reviewed by state lawmakers this session.

Kansas legislators are expected to debate a proposal that would allow concealed carry permit holders to bring their guns onto college campuses and into many public buildings.

But the chief proponent of that bill said Wednesday he has no plans to introduce legislation that would clarify a 2010 law change that removed the ability of the Kansas Attorney General to deny a concealed carry license based on a person “suffering a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a weapon.”

“I’m just trying to address my specific issue,” said Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, who has introduced the legislation that would allow guns on campuses and in other public buildings, if those buildings don’t have certain electronic security devices in place. “I have made an intentional choice to stick with this one particular issue and not try to broaden it out too much.”

Chuck Sexson, who oversees the concealed carry program for the Kansas Attorney General’s office, said he also is not aware of any pending legislation that would address the state’s ability to deny a license when there is evidence that an individual can’t safely handle a weapon.

The change was included in a 2010 law that revamped much of the state’s six-year-old concealed carry program. The changes include eliminating the requirement that license holders take a shooting test in order to renew their license. But when lawmakers made that change, they also eliminated a more general provision that gave the state the ability to deny a license to somebody who clearly had a physical condition that made it impossible to safely handle a gun, such as blindness or other infirmities where people have lost control of their motor functions.

When the Journal-World first reported the law change in February 2011, the Kansas Attorney General’s office expressed surprise in the law change. The office conducted a review of the new statue and by June confirmed that the state no longer had the ability to deny renewal applications based on evidence that an applicant couldn’t physically handle a firearm in a safe manner.

But Attorney General Derek Schmidt has declined to comment on whether he thinks the law change has weakened the concealed carry program. This week, a spokesman for Schmidt said the Attorney General had brought the issue up to some legislators. But the spokesman did not respond to a question about whether Schmidt was concerned by the change in the law.

In other gun related news from the Statehouse:

• Legislation was introduced Tuesday that would no longer make it a crime for people to carry a concealed switch-blade knife or other similar knife-like devices. House Bill 2584 was introduced by the House’s Committee on Federal and State Affairs. The bill would change a portion of the state’s criminal use of weapons statute so that it would no longer be illegal to sell, manufacture, purchase or possess any knife, including switch-blades, daggers and dirks. The proposed law strictly prohibits cities from passing any local laws regulating the possession of knives. Attempts to reach Rep. Steve Brunk, chairman of the House’s Committee on Federal and State Affairs, were not successful Tuesday.

• House Bill 2421 would make it so that personal firearms that are manufactured inside the state of Kansas and remain inside the state’s boundaries would not be subject to federal gun registration laws. Rep. Connie O’Brien, R-Tonganoxie, and Rep. Jana Goodman, R-Leavenworth, introduced the bill. Attempts to reach either lawmaker were not successful.


DillonBarnes 6 years, 2 months ago

What's the point of this story?

And in other news, this is still the same, we just want to rile up people again.

q_ball2kand1 6 years, 2 months ago

or we just want to rifle people up again

DillonBarnes 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes Sear! I'd say you're right on target.

Chad Lawhorn 6 years, 2 months ago

Since the state is considering expanding the concealed carry law (as noted in the article), it seemed logical to do an update on a significant change that was made to the law in 2010 — a change that the A.G.'s office has conceded caught them by surprise. And if it is such a non-event, why would it rile anybody up? Thanks, Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

DillonBarnes 6 years, 2 months ago

I could bring up any number of cases in reference to President Obama or even President Bush that are no longer relevant, but I betcha it would rile people up.

You've put a lot of time and effort into the issue of concealed carry, so maybe to you, the fact that this didn't come up in the legislature is an issue. However, as a reporter, I don't see any event in the past year that justifies a whole story about this.

I do know that concealed carry issues are always very popular on this site, a lot of intersects of opinions for this little town in Kansas. That usually results in a lot of page clicks. So, I believe you are either 1) pushing your own opinions on the matter of concealed carry or 2) creating a controversial story to get more traffic.

Just my opinion of it all, maybe I'm just over thinking it.

Chad Lawhorn 6 years, 2 months ago

I think you may be over thinking it. The last time I wrote an article about this subject (in June), there were lawmakers, and to a lesser degree the attorney general, who said they may want to look at it the issue in this session. It seemed like now was the appropriate time to ask whether they were going to address it. Once I asked the question, I felt like I might as well share the response. As you noted, people seem to be interested in it. Providing an update to a story that people are interested in seems to be a good thing. We probably ought to do it more. Thanks, Chad

DillonBarnes 6 years, 2 months ago

Can you link to the June article?

Either way, thanks for including the info on HB 2584 (albeit under "other gun" news...). That's an interesting change I wasn't expecting but happy to see.

GUMnNUTS 6 years, 2 months ago

Every criminal should be required to wear a bell.

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

Imagine, if you will, the final thoughts of the criminal wrestling a man (or woman) to the ground with the intent to rob them.They had a white cane, a guide dog . . . and a snub nose .44 special pushed into your gut, breathing flames as it puts your lights out.

There, that should get it going . . .

Ragingbear 6 years, 2 months ago

LJworld is big about reporting things not happening.

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 2 months ago

And why not? It is the politicians who are pandering on problems and introducing legislation for things which do not exist (illegal immigrants voting, safety concerns necessitating guns on campus)

Ragingbear 6 years, 2 months ago

The USA doesn't have illegal immigrants? Then who the heck is INS deporting?

thebigspoon 6 years, 2 months ago

Apparently, nobody, because they're all here causing massive voter fraud. Don't you follow the Kobach news?

Steve Bunch 6 years, 2 months ago

Only blind sodomites should have concealed carry in Kansas.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

I guess I'm the only one surprised. When I saw the headline I thought, "Well good, the blind probably shouldn't be packing heat, no matter what transpires in the Book of Eli." To find the law allows such shocked me.

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

"House Bill 2421 would make it so that personal firearms that are manufactured inside the state of Kansas and remain inside the state’s boundaries would not be subject to federal gun registration laws."

Would that include full auto weapons or shotguns/rifles with barrels shorter than 18"?

Chad Lawhorn 6 years, 2 months ago

According to the bill, HB 2421 would not apply to the following types of weapons, even if they were made entirely in Kansas. (In other words, federal regulation would still apply.) 1. A firearm that cannot be carried and used by one person. 2. A firearm that has a bore diameter greater than 1.5 inches and that uses smokeless powder, not black powder, as a propellant. 3. Ammunition with a projectile that explodes using an explosion of chemical energy after the projectile leaves the firearm. 4. Other than shotguns, a firearm that discharges two or more projectiles with one activation of the trigger or other firing device.

Hope that helps. Chad

Horace 6 years, 2 months ago

Silly Teabaggers.

The Kansas Legislature doesn't get to decide the scope of federal firearms laws.

This homemade gun issue has already been decided by the courts.

Jeremiah Jefferson 6 years, 2 months ago

Are the blind and disabled not protected by the constitution? Equal rights for everyone.

chootspa 6 years, 2 months ago

Let's throw in convicted criminals and the mentally ill. Equal rights, yo.

somedude20 6 years, 2 months ago

A blind person can own, hide and shoot a gun but a sickly, dying person can't smoke a joint and two gay people can not legally make love to each other..... sounds like a bumper sticker describing a Kansas Republican

Come to Kansas where the blind shoot, the dying get no relief and gays can't make coitus

somedude20 6 years, 2 months ago

Federal law allows sodemy however Kansas law does not so the right likes to exclude certain groups from their constitutional rights based on their great powers to judge others ability to practice these rights. Whether it is people of color who live in a city with them or the blind, the right is wise and paternal

mom_of_three 6 years, 2 months ago

"The left likes to exclude certain groups from their constitutional rights based on their great powers to judge others ability to practice these rights" Just the left, huh?

Hello, pot. meet kettle.

tolawdjk 6 years, 2 months ago

A .357 has the perfect resonance to allow for echo location. Fire once to get your bearings, fire twice to bring him down.

Just like Daredevil.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

You don't have to have a law for everything which is why you don't see blind security guards.

This is unnecessary nonsense and political theater.

It just means the gun-haters are busy again and it might be time to buy more guns and ammo while we still can.

Steve Dittmann 6 years, 2 months ago

WTF! Blind and severely disabled people can carry a concealed handgun in public? Next thing you'll tell me is they also qualify for a drivers license. Same difference.

timetospeakup 6 years, 2 months ago

There are a lot of people that are "legally blind" that see well enough to shoot someone that is assaulting them.

It's hard to write a law that denies people with complete Hellen Keller blindness the ability to carry a gun but doesn't let a "legally blind" old lady in a wheelchair defend herself.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

I like guns but this "provision' smells fishy. I feel there is a story behind it. Some pal or contributor wanted this provision dropped. I didn't use to feel this about the Kansas house, I was probably naive. I watch bills and laws, which are not aimed to further jobs, health, fairness, just aimed to either satisfy some big buch adventure, or "christian" tenet, or to divert money from one population to "job creators" or to break the backs of perceived opponents. It is just another Brownie black hole. lNow a Brownie black hole is different from open and transparent. Brownback claims the state is in good financial shape and yet so desperate, they must raise taxes on the poor and middle class, make cuts to education, not repair or actually sells infrastructure, and MUST cut taxes to the richest. So we are suppose to believe their isn't some McGoo who wants to holster.

tolawdjk 6 years, 2 months ago

I've always felt that the world would be much smarter if we still had to worry about lions.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

O: Not nice, but funny in a way. Guess we'll know the Legislators are serious when they let folks being their weapons into the Capitol building. Come to think of it, perhaps the sounds of dozens of 'concerned citizens' chambering a round just before the representatives reach to turn on their voting light might focus their minds on what is important.

mr_right_wing 6 years, 2 months ago

white cane in one hand..... .....pistol in the other!!

oldbaldguy 6 years, 2 months ago

I guess cannons will be ok in Kansas.. I have a gun permit for Kansas. Not sure what to think about the blind having one. I think the issuing authority should have some lattitude. I like guns, have a few. Wore one or more off an on for twenty years. For a while felt naked without one. Also used to jump and look for cover when there was a loud noise nearby. Don't anymore. I carry a weapon when I am out in the field, hiking, hunting, and camping where it is authorized.

Everyone just needs to take a deep breath and start working to get moderates in the Statehouse. If not more and better stuff is on the way.

Jeremiah Jefferson 6 years, 2 months ago

Blind people should have to use tactical shotguns. Better chance of hitting the target.

mr_right_wing 6 years, 2 months ago

Can a visually impaired person obtain a permit through Independence Inc?

Is literature about said permit avaiable in large print & braille? (ADA)

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