Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office is blatantly flouting the law and needs to be held to the same standards as individuals and other agencies — agencies that supposedly serve all Kansas residents.
The issue at hand involves the office’s processing of applications from residents seeking permits to carry concealed handguns. Kansas statutes provide that applications are to be processed within 90 days — not whenever you get around to it. Ninety days! That’s not happening. Worse, the office does not seem to be taking any steps to address the problem it’s encountering.
The office receives $100 per concealed-carry application. It retains a share, and the remainder goes to the state treasury to support lab work by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and other labs, as well as acquisition of law enforcement equipment.
The AG’s office continues to blame the record number of permit applications that has been filed for its problems in processing them in a timely manner. However, the money paid by applicants seemingly should offset the costs of overtime and enable the hiring of sufficient employees to keep up with the flow of applications. The surge of applications started in December, and the fact that it has still not been addressed adequately, suggests that perhaps more management expertise is needed in this specific department.
The whole matter is a travesty. Inexcusable. Apparently ignoring the law is an option if you’re the state’s top law enforcement official, although it certainly does not enhance the reputation of the officeholder and clearly sets an extraordinarily poor example that stands out among a cadre of questionable decision-makers inhabiting offices in the state Capitol.