Archive for Friday, May 31, 2013

Editorial: City protest

It won’t change the state law, but Lawrence city commissioners at least signaled their displeasure at a new law that lifts restrictions on the concealed carry of various knives.

May 31, 2013


Comes now House Bill 2033, taking effect July 1 and which, according to the legislative summary, “prohibits municipalities from regulating the transportation, possession, carrying, sales, transfers, purchases, gifting, licensing, registration, or uses of a knife or knife-making components. In addition, the bill prohibits a municipality from passing any ordinance, resolution, or rule that “would be more restrictive regarding knife manufacturing than the manufacture of any other commercial product.”

Except, perhaps, in Lawrence.

The Lawrence City Commission refused Tuesday night to amend the local ordinance to prohibit concealed carry of a variety of knives, including switchblades, daggers, dirks, straight-edged razors and stilettos. Lawrence’s ordinance had language outlawing the concealed carry of essentially all knives other than standard pocket knives with a blade measuring 4 inches or less. The commission, in objecting to the new state law, hoped to send a message back to Topeka.

The state law was changed on a unanimous vote in the Senate and by a 95-26 margin in the House. Apparently the argument that such knives are needed for farm and construction work as well as for hunting and fishing carried the day. Is it possible that some legislator argued that one-handed individuals needed switchblades? (If you’re still scratching your heads, fill in the blank with your own explanation.) At least the legislation removing restrictions on knives also altered the definition of “municipality” so that it didn’t include school districts, jails and juvenile correctional facilities. It’s good to know there are a few limits on where legislators believe concealed knives are appropriate.

City staff attorney Randy Larkin, in so many words, cautioned that the commission was tilting at windmills because state law will prevail. Nevertheless, the city’s action is, indeed, reverberating across the state, having been noted by various news outlets.

It will be interesting to see whether this and costly provisions of the handgun concealed carry statutes ultimately are revisited by lawmakers.


Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 4 years, 10 months ago

The commissioners response to new state laws concerning knives and concealed handguns doesn't surprise me at all. What else could one expect from Lawrence? I have carried a pocket knife for years, with a blade under 4". The past few years I have carried an assist open knife with a blade shorter than 4". I am looking for one with a 4" blade. I am a retired peace officer. A knife is only part of what I carry. It seems the state legislature agrees with me on these issues. I have corresponded with the legislator who wrote the new concealed carry law. Law abiding citizens are responsible for their own safety. There are never, nor will there ever be, enough peace officers to be there when every crime happens.

oldbaldguy 4 years, 10 months ago

carried a knife since my grandpa gave me one when I was 7. carry one now, gerber covert one hand assist opener, great knife, only complaint, it was made in taiwan not here. a lot of folks carry a blade. they are very usefull.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 10 months ago

Well what do you expect. This city "government" (I use that word faciciously) is elected by a miniscule group that bothers to concern itself with city "government" and what we get is this collection of idiots, agended malcontents, and dolts.

You don't care about city government?? This is what you get.

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