On July 1st many new laws went into effect and we generally hear more about the bad news, legislatively speaking. When it comes to new firearm-related laws, we tend to only hear about the negatives, whether it’s the SAFE Act in New York or some new nonsense they’ve in some benighted place like Maryland. What often gets left out is how much better laws regarding the natural right to bear arms have become in a majority of the states. As an example, look at the Kansas of July 1st 2014 versus the Kansas of July 1st 2004 . . .
On July 1, 2004 Kansas was a sorry excuse for a “red state.” Machine guns and most NFA items were illegal, and concealed carry was banned. Well, not completely….
If you were a private investigator or the state fire marshal, you could get a “Firearms Permit” which would enable you to carry concealed. It’s pretty bad when concealed carry is so restrictive that one of the two classes of people who are eligible are actually mentioned by name. In fact, a few years earlier, RINO Governor Bill Graves had vetoed a concealed carry bill. In his speech announcing the veto, he said he thought concealed carry was unnecessary as Kansas was already firearm friendly. He blurted something to the effect that, “you can drive around with a handgun on your passenger seat…what more do you want”?
Yes, the esteemed governor was correct that open carry was legal in Kansas. But he left out that there was no state-level preemption of firearm laws so every city and town that could be found on a map had their own restrictions. Walking around Wichita or Topeka with an unconcealed handgun would get you arrested. Not only was concealed carry banned statewide and open carry neutered beyond repair, but most cities tripped over themselves to pass other unique gun laws.
For example, Wichita had a waiting period on handgun and “assault weapon” sales and a requirement for a local background check. This effectively created a soft gun registry system in the city. Also, magazines holding over 17 round for handguns (20 rounds for rifles) were banned from being sold within city limits.
If you were driving through the state, the only safe way to transport firearms was according to federal interstate transit rules (FOPA) or you were bound to get jammed up by some unconstitutional local restriction.
Fast forward to July 1, 2014. Kansas has a concealed carry law with few restrictions, unlike many states that have a laundry list of petty misdemeanor disqualifiers (ie. Oregon, Michigan). Kansas is now 100% NFA friendly. In fact, even if you live in a locality where your CLEO has Michael Bloomberg on speed dial, they are required by law to sign off on NFA applications.
As of today, former RINO Graves’ statement is now correct; you can drive around with a handgun on your front seat and out in the open statewide. In fact, all gun laws are preempted, knives too. Switchblades and knives of any configuration are legal statewide.
What a difference a decade makes. These are just a couple of examples as Kansas underwent a severe paradigm shift on how state law views your natural right to bear arms. This didn’t happen overnight and it took a combination of steps, including purging many RINO’s from the party and electing legislators who were dedicated to the cause. This story isn’t unique to Kansas, either. It’s also happened in states like Missouri and Georgia among many others. Even Illinois now has concealed carry.
In summary, the changes for Kansas means.
- Local knife laws…gone
- Local gun laws…gone
- Government buildings need to have metal detectors and armed guards if they want to prohibit carry
- Government employers can not keep a list of employers who have a carry license
- Police chiefs and sheriffs are required to sign off on any NFA paperwork
The changes in Kansas didn’t go unnoticed. As July 1st approached, the media was filled with stories of bureaucrats complaining about western Kansas forcing their will on eastern Kansas and how it’s not fair. Apparently they have a problem with state government respecting Kansans’ fundamental rights no matter which part of the state the live in. If individuals don’t like these rights then they should be free to prohibit them on private property.
Public property isn’t a place to impose “local values.” Private property owners are free to do as they like. Public property is a place where all fundamental rights should be respected, no matter where on the map that falls.