Kan. bill would expand conceal, carry rights

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- We've all seen the signs on public buildings: no guns allowed.

Now, the rules regarding conceal-and-carry gun permits in public places may be expanded, allowing gun owners more freedom.

Kansas House Bill 2052  would allow conceal-carry licensees to carry their guns into public buildings, whenever  there are no metal detectors or  security guards protecting the building. Employees in those buildings  would also be permitted to bring firearms to work.

"It will force us to review our security measures here in our buildings," Edwin Burch with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County said.

Birch is opposed to the idea of allowing guns inside public buildings, such as libraries, public utilities and city buildings. He says his employer strives to make safety a priority and welcoming firearms into the fold will make work that much harder.

"We could look at an additional million dollars in buying equipment," Birch said. "We could look at an additional two million dollars in trying to put security staff in places."

That's because the bill would allow conceal and carry permit holders to bring their guns into public buildings, if those buildings didn't have metal detectors on hand to detect illegal guns.

The opinions differ completely around Chris Coad's counter. He's the owner of UT Arms, a gun dealer in KCK. He maintains that responsible gun owners have already passed background checks, and should be trusted to obey the law.

"It doesn't say you can be a hardened criminal and carry one in there," Coad said. "You have to have requirements."

"I think that's a decision that should be left to be made on the local level and not forced on city governments by the state," Birch said.

"It's me, the law-abiding citizen that wants to be safe when i go into a building," Coad countered.

A final version of the bill will likely be voted on next week in Topeka.

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