It looks like Kansas is gunning for being considered the rootinest, tootinest state in the nation. Governor Sam Brownback just passed a bill Thursday, allowing Kansans the right to carry concealed weapons sans permit and with no training whatsoever as soon as July. Virtually anyone and everyone will be able to carry a gun. Don’t know what you’re doing? No matter – bang! Bang!
Predictably, gun rights advocates claim the law upholds the rights of gun owners, whereas opponents of the law say it opens the public up to a whole lot of senseless risk.
In a statement, Brownback said:
Responsible gun ownership – for protection and sport – is a right inherent in our Constitution.
Surprisingly, though, Kansas has more gun-slinging competition than you might think. Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, Arkansas and Arizona all boast similar laws already. Nine more states are thinking over the same measure, the governor’s office says.
Brownback’s measure was voted in with wide support. He said Kansas would maintain issuing permits for those who wish to travel out of state, where the gun laws are not quite so “liberal.” The governor also added that businesses are still welcome to post signs indicating guns are not permitted on their property.
Oh, and Brownback did mention, momentarily, that he believed it best for prospective gun owners in Kansas to take a gun safety course, too, just not so strongly to make it part of the legislation.
President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s Kansas chapter, Loren Stanton, believes it’s a terrible idea not to make gun safety courses mandatory for gun owners. Stanton said:
There is no way that taking away training can make guns safer.
Stanton is right, of course, but it isn’t about gun safety for Brownback. It’s more important to simply get a gun in everyone’s hands.