OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A proposed ordinance means you may soon be able to ‘open carry’ a handgun in Overland Park.
Monday night the city council will take a final vote on the proposal that would allow anyone who has legally bought a handgun to ‘openly carry’ one. Overland Park city leaders say they’re changing the ordinance to come into compliance with an opinion by the Kansas Attorney General. But, many worry how the general public react seeing average folks toting around handguns in public.
“How would you like it if you were about to walk into a theater or mall and somebody comes walking in with a gun stuck on the back of their waist or something like that?” said Don Pind, a firearms instructor from Professional Firearms Consultants.
Pind said he likes the idea of open carry, but knows that not everyone is on board.
“A lot of people aren’t really in to firearms and this could scare them,” Pind said.
The proposed ordinance permits the open carry of handguns in Overland Park. It requires the carrier to keep the firearm in a holster with the safety engaged and to keep the weapon in their immediate control at all times. It also prohibits open carry inside city buildings.
But, Pind points out some guns like Glocks don’t have a safety. The city says if the handgun has a safety it’s required to be engaged. Pind says open-carry didn’t work in the 1800’s – he can only hope it works today.
“It started back in the western days just to keep the drunk cowboys from shooting up the town, so they had to check their guns,” Pind said. Today I don’t know how people are going to react to this. I hope they accept it but I’m not sure they’re going to.”
Overland Park’s current ordinance prohibits the open carry of firearms. Wichita recently passed a similar ordinance. The city says it expects to pass the changes at the Monday evening city council meeting.