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Kansas supports suit opposing concealed-carry permit restrictions

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Sep. 6, 2012, at 3:01 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at 2:53 p.m.

Kansas has joined 13 other states in supporting the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment by agreeing that people don’t need to show why they want a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Thursday he has added Kansas to a friend-of-the-court brief filed in the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Richmond, Va. The appellate court is reviewing a decision by a Maryland district court that struck down a Maryland requirement that a person must show a reason for needing a concealed permit before one is issued.

“Citizens who qualify to have a concealed carry permit should not be required to clear the further hurdle of showing the government why they need to have a firearm,” Schmidt said. “The Second Amendment protects the individual’s right to keep and bear arms and does not allow the government to demand to know the reason why.”

Kansas is one of 39 states with a concealed-carry law on the books that doesn’t require a person to give a reason for needing the license, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Maryland is among 10 states with a concealed-carry law that has further restrictions, such as requiring a reason for the permit. In Maryland, the law requires a person to have “good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun.”

The Maryland State Police unit that handles the permit requests has said that “such a reason must reflect more than `personal anxiety’ and (show) a level of threat beyond that faced by the average citizen,” according to court filings.

Illinois is the only state that bans a private citizen from carrying a concealed firearm. The District of Columbia also has the prohibition.

Kansas became one of the last states to adopt a concealed-carry law when it was passed by the Legislature in 2006; it took effect in 2007. As of Aug. 15, there were 45,953 concealed-carry permits issued in Kansas, including 9,869 in Sedgwick County.

The other 13 states signing on with the brief are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or at rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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