UG official says uniform approach to open carry regulation not feasible

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- If a bill in the Kansas Legislature is passed, cities and counties would not be able to regulate open carry gun laws. Some say a uniform approach would limit confusion, but others say it strips away local control.

Since the time before Kansas became a state, cities have had the ability to regulate open carry of guns. Several communities, including some here in the metro, want to keep it that way.

"Let the local communities allow that local control to help decide this issue, don't mandate it from the state." said Mike Taylor

Taylor spoke with FOX 4 by phone Tuesday because he's in Topeka lobbying on behalf of the Unified Government.

"We're able to regulate the open carry of guns on our city streets by city ordinance, and we think we have the right to do that and in our community it's a smart thing to do and this bill would take away that right," explained Taylor.

Some legislators from western Kansas want to see the state adopt a uniform policy, Taylor says that's impossible.

"If a rancher comes in from the pastures and he's got a .22 strapped on his hip and goes into the hardware store downtown, you're probably not going to think much about it. In Wichita, or KCK, or maybe some other urban cities, if you saw in certain neighborhoods someone with Tech 9 or a Glock strapped on their hip, it's a very different," said Taylor.

City leaders in Prairie Village are in favor of local control as well. City administrator Quinn Bennion issued this statement on behalf of the mayor and council:

"The city council has long held that some decisions are best decided by local communities, such as regulating firearms in public areas. Local control enables communities in rural, urban and suburban areas of Kansas to determine what is best for their neighborhoods."

The Senate is expected to pass the bill Wednesday, then it's on to the House.

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