Northeast Joco

Suit filed over Prairie Village gun ordinance

A Prairie Village man who is a candidate for Kansas lieutenant governor filed suit Monday challenging his city’s prohibition on the open carry of loaded firearms in public places.

The suit filed by Grant Nelson says the Prairie Village ordinance violates the U.S. Constitution and the Kansas Bill of Rights. Under Kansas law, cities can regulate but not prohibit the open carry of firearms.

Nelson, the Libertarian Party candidate for lieutenant governor, said in the Johnson County suit that he has been injured in an accident and as a candidate for public office, “He is at a disadvantage to defend himself in the event of an attack and he is at a heightened risk for an attack given his candidacy.”

City officials said they intend to defend the ordinance. According to a statement posted on the city’s website Monday: “The mayor and City Council do not believe that the city code violates the Kansas Constitution or the Kansas Statutes.”

The Prairie Village ordinance only applies to public property such as parks, streets, sidewalks and city buildings. It does not prohibit the open carry of firearms on private property or in private businesses that allow open carry. It also does not apply to those who are legally licensed to carry concealed weapons.