Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill last Friday that makes a number of changes to the state’s firearms laws, including a provision that protects the right of government employees to carry concealed firearms while working outside of government buildings.
Previous laws allowed government employees to carry concealed weapons but limited their ability to bring a firearm in government vehicles or out in public, according to a report from the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Beginning July 1, public employers will be prohibited from “restricting or prohibiting through personnel policies any employee legally qualified to conceal carry from carrying a concealed handgun while engaged in employment duties outside the employer’s place of business, including while in a means of conveyance.” The bill specifically exempts school districts from the prohibition.
Both the Kansas House and Senate approved House Bill 2502 by wide margins.
The legislation includes a number of additional gun-related topics, one of which also garnered a fair amount of media attention.
According to the Lawrence Journal-World, a Kansas school district decided last year to prohibit an air gun club from using its gymnasium. The club had been meeting in the same location since 1985, and, according to the club’s organizer, no one had ever been hurt.
The school district remained unconvinced. According to the LJW report, school officials appealed to the Kansas Weapons Free Schools Act, which requires districts to adopt policies prohibiting firearms in schools and to expel any student who violates the policy.
House Bill 2502 amends the Weapons Free School Act to specifically exclude air guns. It also prohibits public schools from “preventing organizations from conducting activities on school property solely because the activities involve the possession and use of air guns.”
Kansas public schools will be required to make their facilities available to air gun clubs in the same way they make their facilities available to other clubs and organizations.
The bill makes a number of additional changes to state firearm law, including:
- Allows active duty military personnel to apply for and receive a Kansas concealed carry license while stationed out of state. As the LJW points out, Kansas no longer requires a concealed carry license, but some residents still use their Kansas license to carry a firearm in states that require a permit.
- The bill makes the requirements for prohibiting concealed carry in public areas the same as those found in existing law for prohibiting concealed carry in public buildings: the building or public area must have adequate security at all public access entrances to ensure no weapons are permitted to be carried in the area or building and must conspicuously post the prohibition. This provision ensures that if a law-abiding citizen does not have a gun, neither does an individual with nefarious intent.
All provisions will go into effect July 1, 2016.