New gun law takes effect July 1st

WICHITA, Kansas – After passing both the Kansas House and Senate in April, a bill voiding local gun restrictions will take effect next Tuesday, July 1st.

It will allow gun owners to openly carry guns in various public places by making the laws dealing with guns more uniform across the state.

District 81 Representative Jim Howell pushed to have House Bill 2578 passed.

His hope was that with a uniform law, that it would become more clear and what gun owners in the state could do.

“That’s really the genesis of this bill, trying to create clarity in our state, so whatever the laws are going to be in our state, lets make them uniform across the state,” said Howell.

The law will allow those who choose to bear arms to openly carry a gun anywhere, unless a building has a sign posted saying guns aren’t allowed.

Private businesses also have the right to keep guns out of their establishments.

KSN asked Howell to help define exactly what defines concealed carry.

“Concealed means exactly that, you will not know someone has a firearm on them because you cannot see it, it’s not imprinted in their clothing,” said Howell.

About 90,000 Kansas have permits that allow them to conceal.  They had to take a course and pay a fee to earn that right to conceal a weapon.

However, anyone who can legally own a weapon, can keep a weapon in clear view.

Lt. Dan East with the Wichita Police Department explained what the definition of open carry is.

“Open carry is how it sounds, the firearm is visible, there’s no clothing, shirt, coat covering it,” said Lt. East.

The Attorney General’s office has proposed using signs to indicate that concealed guns are not allowed in a business.

They’ve also created other signs that state open carrying of firearms is prohibited in a building.

Those rules have yet to get final approval.

Howell adds that while the law goes into effect at the beginning of July, that if problems arise, the law could be revisited and possible changes could be made in future legislation.

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