How much sense does this make? And if you have any common sense, youll answer none.
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
An 18-year-old can openly carry a loaded gun in Overland Park without going through background checks by the state or additional firearms safety training required for concealed carry. But a person 21 or older would have to jump through such training and safety hoops to conceal and carry.
Yes, the younger, more likely less mature gun owner is freer to pack heat openly.
Its the latest twist for Overland Park around the contentious open-carry gun law.
A 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday of the citys public safety committee is expected to flesh out the details.
All the city seeks to do is ensure that while being in compliance with state laws on open carry, public safety is taken into consideration.
The problem is, they keep running into ridiculous inconsistencies in state law.
The ever-vigilant Libertarian Party highlighted this potential legal pothole. They make solid arguments for consistency in the laws. They threatened a lawsuit upon hearing that Overland Park will consider adding the training and background requirements of the concealed-carry license to the open-carry permits.
Concealed carry in Kansas requires an eight-hour weapons safety and training course, $132.50 in fees, fingerprinting, being photographed and passing criminal record checks.
But Kansas allows concealed carry only for people 21 and over. Yet other gun rights apply to anyone 18 and older.
So if the city aligns with the state requirements for concealed carry, it essentially blocks the 18- to 20-year-olds. And that smacks right into Second Amendment rights.
Its another oversight that the state legislature needs to address. This whole mess began with an attorney general opinion that said cities can regulate, but not prohibit, open carry.
Plan B: Overland Park will consider creating a city permit for 18- to 20-year-olds to have the training and background checks.
Not so fast, say the Libertarians.
A separate, city permit for younger gun owners opens a Pandoras box of legal problems, they argue. Their overall stance is that cities dont have the authority to regulate such issues in the first place.
It would be confusing if Overland Park adds to the hodgepodge of laws. Drive for 15 minutes in portions of Johnson County and a person can pass through three different municipalities.
Libertarians would prefer that Overland Park wait and give the state legislature a chance to act.
Who will prevail? Time, not a lawsuit, should tell.
To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.