Constitutional Concealed Carry in Kansas
The number of applications for Kansas concealed carry handgun licenses dropped by 40 percent since July 1, 2015 when Senate Bill 45 became law, allowing permitless concealed carry in the state for 21 year olds lawfully able to possess a firearm.
Despite not needing a license to carry in this state, whether as a resident or a traveling nonresident, there were nearly 5,500 initial license applications approved from 2015 to 2016, and nearly 10,000 renewed.
The permit does have a use, primarily being its reciprocity benefits to travel out of state with a concealed handgun. Those looking for the permit, however, must apply.
How to Get a Kansas Concealed Carry Permit
The fact that this is a constitutional carry state doesn’t delegitimize the Kansas concealed carry permit. For Kansas residents traveling out of state with a concealed handgun, a permit will be required in most of the country, depending on state laws and reciprocity agreements.
The Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act, which became law in 2006 nine years prior to Governor Sam Brownback signing SB 45 into law, established the concealed carry permit system within the state.
To get ahold of this permit as a Kansas resident, an applicant must fill out the state-required form and submit it to their local county sheriff with four attached items.
- Two money orders or checks, the first ($100) made payable to the office of the Attorney General and the second ($32.50) to their county sheriff. There will be separate fees for training certification.
- A photocopy of a certificate from an eight-hour handgun safety course taught by an instructor approved by the attorney general. There are exceptions and caveats to this for certain applicants (see below).
- A 2x2” passport-style photograph taken with the previous 30 days.
- A photocopy of a Kansas ID card or driver’s license – for active duty military personnel stationed in Kansas, they should submit a photocopy of their ID/driver’s license (not a military ID or CAC card) from their home state as well as a copy of the orders stationing them in Kansas.
The training component may not be necessary for law enforcement officers who’ve retired in the prior eight years; for state corrections officers, parole officers and federal corrections officers who’ve qualified to carry a handgun in the prior 12 months; and Kansas residents who have a license from a jurisdiction that has similar training requirements.
Note that current statutes do not establish an expiration date for training certifications.
It goes without saying, but there are still stringent requirements to qualify for a Kansas permit. These extend past the Kansas residency and 21-year-old age requirement.
Background checks will scour records for felony and certain misdemeanor charges, juvenile adjudications, mental health adjudications and commitments, armed forces dishonorable discharge, citizenship, alcohol abuse, controlled substance abuse, domestic violence charges, restraining orders and other disqualifiers outlined in state law and federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922).
This is not formal legal advice, so specific questions about disqualifying criteria, criminal or otherwise, should be directed to Kansas concealed carry license issuing authorities.
Once the application is successfully submitted to the applicant’s sheriff, fingerprints will be taken and the application in total will be forwarded to the attorney general. The attorney general is required by statute to approve or deny the application within 90 days.
If approved, the handgun license, which is valid for four years, should be picked up at a state licensing station.
Whether or not one has a license, there are still locations throughout the state where firearms are prohibited.
Kansas Gun Laws Restrict Firearms at Specific Locations
Kansas gun laws have relaxed, with proposed legislation even considering lowering the concealed carry age requirement to 18-year-olds, but that has yet to become law.
In any case, the state allows certain locations to restrict firearms. Aside from federally prohibited locations, administrators in public and private buildings may restrict firearms on their premises if they follow certain criteria. Otherwise, concealed carry is generally allowed in private and public buildings.
Under K.S.A. 75-7c10 and 75-7c20, public buildings may prohibit firearms if they post signage approved by the attorney general and if they install metal detectors and personnel at the entrances. Public buildings may also exempt themselves for four years from laws on this matter and may prohibit firearms regardless of signage and screening. This exemption, however, may only be applied once and after those four years they must post signage, metal detection equipment and personnel.
Public universities and colleges are similar in this regard, although campus carry legislation has been proposed but not passed. Although this is a matter of building restrictions, they may post signage prohibiting concealed weapons on the grounds as well and it is not illegal for them to do so, just improper.
Public hospitals, health centers and mental health facilities may ban concealed carry weapons after Republican Gov. Sam Brownback allowed a bill outlining the restriction become law without his signature in June of 2017.
State and municipalities cannot restrict firearms on any public land, only within the buildings and even then only with the previously approved signage.
Employers may prohibit employees’ CCWs on location and on the job, but they cannot restrict the firearms from their “means of private conveyance,” as well as if that “private conveyance” is parked in the employer’s parking lot.
Concealed weapons may generally be carried in private buildings unless there is attorney general approved signage posted at the entrances.
Those licensed to carry must leave a building with no posted signage if the owner requests they do so, not on the grounds of breaking concealed carry laws, but in regard to trespassing laws.
Notably, there is an exemption for Kansas concealed carry license holders in respect to federal law 18 U.S.C. 922(q) school zones and may carry concealed weapons in these locations, a right not extended to license holders from states outside Kansas. This right is not extended when K-12 schools post attorney general approved signage.
Again, because this is only an introductory primer on carrying concealed weapons within the state, be sure to follow up with state authorities about specific questions beyond the material presented in this guide.
The word reciprocity has been mentioned twice before this sentence with no formal definition. For the uninitiated, here’s an explanation.
How Kansas Concealed Carry Reciprocity Works
In the context of reciprocity standards, Kansas concealed carry reciprocity applies primarily to Kansas residents traveling out of state.
Concerning concealed carry weapons, reciprocity is an interstate recognition of each state’s CCW permit program. So, if one is traveling with their handgun to another state, that state may require permits in order to carry concealed weapons there. They may or may not recognize that traveling concealed carrier’s permit.
Often state statutes outline the attorney general, Kansas for example, as the authority that determines which state permits Kansas recognizes as valid, allowing the individual to carry when traveling to a given state for a certain length of time.
Not to belabor this explanation, but the reason why this doesn’t exactly pertain to those traveling to Kansas is because this state’s permitless carry laws passed in 2015 extend to residents and nonresidents alike, and Kansas recognizes all valid permits. Therefore, Kansas reciprocity applies to state residents traveling and staying elsewhere.
States have no obligation to recognize the Kansas permit though. Luckily, roughly 36 states recognize Kansas’ permit. The thing is, reciprocity agreements and recognition shifts when a stiff political wind blows one way or another. States may be added and subtracted from an attorney general’s list of approved states.
For that reason, an up-to-date CCW reciprocity map is a great tool for traveling concealed carriers.
But, those traveling out of state with a concealed deadly weapon must understand that they are required to follow all the respective gun laws in the state they’re traveling to, whether or not they agree with them.
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About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter and photographer based in the pacific northwest. He graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in public relations and apparel.