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By Jared

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.

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  1. It gives me hope for Illinois. Maybe the rest of the sate can get the monkey of Chicago off our backs.

  2. I don’t know why Indiana never gets its turn in the spotlight but I’m always glad for the oversight. Guns in school parking lots and no clamor over “TEH CHILDRENZ!!!!”? That’s a win.

    • MDA is in Indy and they did not like it. Shannon sort of gets ignored in the Hoosier State.

  3. This kind of thinking needs to come to Texas. We are not totally NFA friendly. There are still CLEOs in the major metro counties that won’t sign off. Travis, Bexar, and Harris, for example. Bexar County for example is horrible about following State Law. They impose prohibitions on concealed carry in County facilities. But, in the Texas State Capitol in Austin, you can bypass the metal detector if you show your CHL to the guard. At the same time, DPS officers will arrest an open carry guy with a black powder pistol. This is in violation of state law as it is technically not a firearm. They default to disorderly conduct to cover their butts on the charge.

    • The big cities, in whatever states you find them, are usually bastions of liberalism, even in Texas. The counties here are interesting, however. There’s quite of bit of geographic overlap between the major cities and the counties in which they’re situated, but not 100%. The political overlap is what’s interesting, as county political party leadership isn’t always identical to city leadership.

      For example, Houston has overall liberal leadership, but Harris County is conservative. This is because the county includes smaller suburban cities and unincorporated areas where people with jobs and earned assets are more likely to live and vote.

      We do have pre-emption, though, so neither cities nor counties may not impose their own rules with regard to concealed carry. You just need to make sure that you are following state law, which in county buildings the most likely element is not being able to carry while an official meeting is in progress. For NFA items, just move into a suburb or adjacent county with a more reasonable police chief or sheriff and you should be fine.

      Remember, while a Chief Law Enforcement Officer’s sign off is required (except perhaps for trusts, look into that yourself, because I don’t know much about it.), the CLEO doesn’t necessarily have to be the Police Chief or Sheriff.

      The head of the State police, or State or local district attorney or prosecutor are also acceptable. ATF regulations also provide that certifications of other officials are appropriate if found in a particular case to be acceptable to the ATF. Examples of other officials who have been accepted in specific situations include State attorneys general and judges of State courts having authority to conduct jury trials in felony cases.

      So don’t just stop because the Chief or Sheriff refused, and certainly don’t let rumors about their supposed refusals to sign dissuade you from even trying. Try at the top of the list, but keep on going until you find someone with appropriate jurisdiction who will.

  4. Calvin,

    I would be more than happy to write a then and now article for Indiana. I just thought Kansas came such a long way so I picked it as a starting point.

    • Nope, nope, that’s quite all right. Nothing to see here, just some Hoosiers minding their own business. 😀

  5. “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.”
    Great statement. There’s a fine line between too much restriction (at the federal level) and too much power to restrict (at the public county/city level). Finding the level in the middle where people can learn the rules and follow them without being forced against their will is really important and it appears that we might draw it back into state power soon.
    Speaking about NFA items, I see no reason for a state to prohibit them when they are limited by the federal govt…

  6. That is a very festive statehouse chamber there. Do you have a calliope to provide music for debates?

  7. I was sad to leave Kansas last month because the gun laws were awesome and a lot of neat guns were for sale.

  8. One of the best pro-rights articles on this site.

    One point of correction.

    Change from this:
    Government employers can not keep a list of employers who have a carry license
    To this:
    Government employers can not keep a list of employees who have a carry license

  9. Thank you Southerner, I am truly flattered. I wish I caught that typo with employees/employers.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  10. What I really hate is how the USA has become the country of Double Speak. SAFE Act like it would keep anyone safe. Don’t remember back in the 80’s this been the norm I guess like everything else things change and Orwellian Double Speak works very well on the simple minded sheep.

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