Kansas concealed-carry permits now recognized in 39 other states
Topeka ? People from Kansas who hold valid permits to carry concealed firearms may now do so legally in the state of Delaware, Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office announced Monday.
They may also carry concealed firearms as far away as Maine and New Mexico, or as close to home as Oklahoma, Nebraska or Missouri.
But they shouldn’t try carrying their weapons in California, New York, Massachusetts or a handful of other states that do not currently recognize Kansas-issued concealed-carry permits.
Delaware on Monday became the 39th state in the union, not including Kansas itself, to announce that it would recognize Kansas concealed-carry permits.
That news came just days after the Kansas Legislature failed to act on what was called a “reciprocity” bill that would have recognized permits issued by other states so that Kansans with valid permits could legally carry their firearms in other states that require such reciprocity laws.
Supporters of that bill had argued that it was needed for Kansans who want to carry their firearms when they travel outside the state because some states have reciprocity laws that say they will recognize permits issued only by other states that have similar reciprocity laws.
The other states that currently do not recognize Kansas-issued permits, according to information on the attorney general’s website, include Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island.
Kansas stopped requiring people to obtain permits or undergo firearms safety training in 2013, when it enacted a so-called “constitutional carry” law that allows anyone over the age of 21 who is otherwise qualified to possess a firearm to carry concealed weapons in the state.
People in Kansas may, however, go through training and obtain a permit voluntarily, and officials have said many do so specifically so they can carry their concealed weapons when traveling in other states.
Schmidt’s office said in a statement that there are currently more than 85,000 active concealed-carry license holders in Kansas.
The bill that lawmakers were considering, House Bill 2042, also would have lowered the age limit for carrying concealed firearms to 18, while requiring that people between the ages of 18 and 21 obtain permits to do so.
Although similar versions of the reciprocity bill had passed both chambers of the Legislature and a conference committee had agreed to a compromise bill, it was never brought to the floor of the Senate, which would have had to vote first, in the final days of the session.
Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, told the Journal-World that there wasn’t enough time in the waning days of the session to consider the bill because of the large number of other bills lawmakers were considering.
Others in the Legislature, however, said there was little appetite for passing a new law expanding concealed-carry rights following the public outcry that ensued after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school where 17 students and faculty members were killed.