Money over conceal carry permits could be in jeopardy

Gun In Holster (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

WICHITA, Kansas – Sheriff’s officers in Sedgwick County say the county takes in about $80,000 a year from conceal carry permits. But, with lawmakers considering doing away with the need for a permit to conceal carry, sheriff’s officers say they will still have to administer the program.

“We don’t know the financial impact of this, if it becomes law,” says Major Michael Oliver with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department. “But, logically speaking, why would I pay to get a conceal permit at $132.50 if I can carry conceal without any restrictions?”

Oliver says his office will continue to offer conceal carry permits, as required by the state of Kansas. He says the desire will still be out there for some to get a permit, even if the law is changed.

“The state of Kansas has a reciprocal agreement with a lot of other states. So, anyone from Kansas who wants to conceal carry in another state will still want that permit,” explains Oliver. “The revenue we get from conceal carry permits pays for manpower to do the fingerprinting. Processing. Pays for the fingerprint machine. Pays for the card stock. I mean, it’s all used in relation to that fingerprinting process. We do fingerprinting for other stuff other than conceal carry. But, yeah, we’re still going to have folks come in who desire to get a conceal carry permit that would be reciprocal with another state.”

The state of Kansas also takes in a lot of revenue from the permits. Senate Bill 45, if it becomes law, would likely cut a lot of that revenue stream from permits. From 2006 to 2014, the state processed 98,151 permits at $132,50 each.

That would be a loss of millions.

“I’ve been involved with conceal carry from (2006) the beginning,” says Oliver. “I do know in the attorney general’s office they hired at least three people just to manage the applications that were coming in and do the paperwork, do the background checks and to deal with carry conceal.”

State Attorney General spokeswoman Jennifer Rapp responded to a KSN request, as to what would happen in the case of seriously dwindling revenues, assuming permit applications drop dramatically.

“In Fiscal Year 2014, the attorney general’s office deposited $1,584,839 from concealed carry application fees,” responded Rapp.

Rapp also wrote, “K.S.A. 75-7c04(b) says a class fee paid by the applicant and those fees are retained by the private instructor for their time and expenses. No monies from the concealed carry class go toward county/state funds.”

Rapp also sent a communication from Shawn Sullivan, the Kansas Budget Director as follows:

January 28, 2015
The Honorable Ralph Ostmeyer, Chairperson
Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs
Statehouse, Room 136-E
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Dear Senator Ostmeyer:
SUBJECT: Fiscal Note for SB 45 by Senator Bruce, et al.
In accordance with KSA 75-3715a, the following fiscal note concerning SB 45 is respectfully submitted to your committee.
SB 45 would create an avenue for concealed carry of handguns without a license in Kansas, without repealing the existing concealed carry handgun licensing process as a whole.
The Office of the Attorney General states that it is difficult to know what the precise effect would be on the number of concealed carry handgun initial and renewal applications but there would likely be a decline, which would reduce agency revenue. An initial license is $100 to the Attorney General’s Office, half of which goes to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for background checks. A renewal application is $25. A sheriff’s office receives an application fee of $32.50 for each initial license application it accepts from its county. Local governments could experience a loss in revenue due to a decline in applications but that fiscal effect also cannot be determined. However, prior amendments to the concealed carry law have generated numerous requests for Attorney General issued formal interpretations of the net effects of those changes from legislators and local government entities. If the number of these requests continues to grow, the Office may need an additional attorney to handle the increased volume of opinion requests. Any fiscal effect associated with SB 45 is not reflected in The FY 2016 Governor’s Budget Report.
Shawn Sullivan,
Director of the Budget

RELATED LINK | Kansas Concealed Carry Licenses Issued by County

RELATED LINK | 2014 Kansas Concealed Carry Annual Report

Conceal Carry Applications Received by Fiscal Year



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