To the editor:
The recent actions by the city and county commissions (and the Lawrence Journal-World editorial “More guns”) are clearly not grounded in the facts. The legislation passed by the Kansas Legislature allows only for residents who are approved for a concealed carry license. In 2007, concealed carry was approved by the Legislature, and there were fears that this would increase crime and lead to a “Wild West” environment. These fears have proven unfounded, as statistics have shown a decrease in violent crime in Kansas.
In addition, those with a concealed carry license are much less likely to commit a crime than those who do not have a license. Concealed carry applicants must submit a detailed application, undergo a background check by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and wait at least 45 days (in most cases 90 days) before the license is issued. In addition, applicants must complete a safety course with a certified trainer.
The city and county commissioners are not only suggesting that it might be necessary to spend hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money; they are suggesting this is necessary to protect themselves from a specific population that is actually less dangerous. While concealed carry may not result in a safer environment, it certainly does not increase the risk of violence. I ask our commissioners to use reason before they spend more of our money.