Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Overland Park considers restricting open carry

October 24, 2012

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— Just weeks after allowing Overland Park citizens to openly carry weapons, city officials are considering adding some restrictions after getting an overwhelmingly negative response from residents.

The city council voted in September to allow gun owners to carry firearms in public places if they are kept in holsters with the safety engaged. Guns are allowed in all public places, except city-owned buildings and buildings that post signs specifically prohibiting weapons.

"The public has not been pleased," council member Jim Hix said Tuesday about the response.

The council's vote came after Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued an opinion late last year that a city must allow citizens to carry loaded weapons but may impose restrictions on how that is accomplished.

A council committee will consider next month tightening restrictions to require those who openly carrying weapons to have the same permits currently required to carry concealed weapons, The Kansas City Star reported.

Those restrictions allow only U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old to carry weapons. They also must successfully complete an eight-hour weapons safety training course, and there are restrictions based on criminal history, drug arrests, mental health issues and more.

"It is a common sense issue that we have an opportunity to level the requirements and do it in a fairly simple and straight-forward manner," said Hix, who's proposing the tighter regulations.

Resident Laveriss Steadham said she thinks the city shouldn't have allowed the open carry of weapons and wishes residents could had voted on the idea.

"I would love to see some restrictions," she said. "But I'm afraid the barn door is open now."

Earl McIntosh, Second Amendment coordinator for the Kansas Libertarian Party, said Tuesday the proposed changes would create confusion because the ordinance would vary from one Kansas city to the next.

"Our biggest concern is for uniformity," McIntosh said. "Overland Park needs to let this ride for a little bit and find out there is going to be no problem."

McIntosh said a legal challenge is likely if Overland Park imposes restrictions.

Paul Lyons, the only council member to vote against allowing the open carry of firearms, said the proposed changes would ensure that those who do walk around with holstered weapons have the proper training. But he also believes no one needs to openly carry a weapon in Overland Park.

"It certainly is not for self-protection, because if they wanted it for protection, they would have the option of obtaining a concealed permit," Lyons said.

Comments

time2kill 2 years, 5 months ago

If they hadn't drawn all this attention to the issue by passing an ordinance "granting" citizens a right that they already had, then the OP city council wouldn't be in this position. It seems that they are also drawing attention to the fact that being elected doesn't imply any qualification to perform the duties of the office, or familliarity with the law. I agree with Mr. McIntosh that they just need to let this subside, rather than boldly blundering on.

oldbaldguy 2 years, 5 months ago

Good video. Ditto on the merits of open carry versus concealed. Even in old Dodge City you could not open carry or concealed for that matter. The concealed carry classes do not present a lot of useful training. None on when to shoot or not. No situational awareness training. You can get that but it cost more than the 8 hour CC class. I am not a gun nut. Fired expert with the 1911A1 and the .38 revolver for 22 years. The M9 took a little getting used to. They are useful tools for the occaison and they are fun to shoot.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 5 months ago

In former Soviet Union, targets shoot you.

FarneyMac 2 years, 5 months ago

If I can't carry my AK-47 into the Price Chopper, then we might as well be Red China. U-S-A! U-S-A!

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