OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A group of gun right advocates held its monthly meeting in Overland Park because of the ongoing debate on changes to an ordinance to allow citizens to openly carry a firearm.
Members of this open carry group came from across the metro to a local strip mall. Each one displayed their gun openly, strapped in its holster.
James Hardegen, who runs missouriopencarry.org, said there has been little support for the open carry law since the council voted for it in September. He said they are backing the practice by holding the group’s meeting within city limits.
Hardegen said there are unnecessary fears for guns because firearms are misrepresented.
“Whenever the public hears about fire arms, they hear about it in a negative way. We don’t see a lot of the positives about firearms. They don’t see normal firearms carriers,” Hardegen said. “We like to normalize it. We like to show that good people open carry. It isn’t just a crime. It’s not just involved in crimes,” he said.
The city council approved changing the ordinance because it said it needed to comply with an opinion by Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
Councilman Paul Lyons was the only councilor who voted against the changes. He said open carry would only intimidate others.
Since then, other councilors have said residents feel similar, saying they are not pleased with new law.
The council is discussing additional regulations for the ordinance. They’re also seeking advice from the attorney general.
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