Bill to drop concealed carry age clears Kansas Legislature


Kansas House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita, watches an electronic tally board as the chamber votes to approve a bill that would lower the age at which people can carry concealed firearms from 21 to 18. The measure has won final legislative approval and goes next to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. — A proposal to lower the legal age in Kansas to carry concealed firearms from 21 to 18 won final approval Thursday in the Legislature.

The Republican-controlled Senate approved the bill, 30-8, and the GOP-controlled House passed it hours later, 80-43, sending it to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

People as young as 18 already can carry firearms in the open in Kansas. Under the bill approved by legislators, 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds would have to obtain a license to carry concealed, although older gun owners do not have to get one.

The measure would increase the number of university and college students eligible to carry concealed firearms on campus, but education groups say it wouldn’t change current laws that allow high schools to prohibit guns on school grounds.

On Wednesday, the Senate rejected amendments from Democrats that included allowing law enforcement to remove firearms from people who pose a danger to themselves or others.

The bill includes a provision from Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, a Galena Republican, that would allow people who have been convicted of crimes including misdemeanor domestic battery to possess firearms after their criminal records are expunged.

The bill would also expand Kansas’ recognition of other states’ concealed carry permits.

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