Locals weigh in on Kansas bill to drop conceal carry age to 18
COLUMBUS, Kan. — Legislation to drop the concealed carry age from 21 to 18 moves forward in Kansas.
The bill has passed in the Kansas House, 83 to 41, and advanced to the Senate.
It if becomes law, the minimum age for concealed carry training would be 18, allowing shooters to legally conceal and carry their weapon.
While some feel like this would be a move in the right direction, others have safety concerns.
Guns are a good business in Columbus, Kansas where many people are trained to conceal and carry their weapon with confidence.
“We had a whole day of training, 8 hours, where we learned basically the laws on concealed carry, do’s and don’ts, and then proficiency with a hand gun,” said Brian Usher, a Columbus, Kansas man who supports an age drop for concealed carriers.
That training could be opened up to 18-year-olds, if Kansas House Bill 2326 passes the Senate.
“Anybody should have the right to do it as long as you go through the right channels, learn how to practice with it, train, and get certified that you are proficient with it. It would be beneficial for everybody whether you’re 18 or 60 years old,” Usher said.
Some worry that concealed guns in the hands of teens could spell danger, though, arguing that most young people aren’t responsible enough to hold that kind of power.
“If a kid goes out and does something out of rage, or impulse, or anything, they’re going to spend the rest of their lives in prison due to something they weren’t even really thinking about or developed enough to think straight, especially if drugs or alcohol are involved,” expressed Deedra Doherty, a Columbus, Kansas mother.
Under current law, 18-year-olds in Kansas can already possess and openly carry firearms, but Liberty Guns Owner Gerald Messer says a law won’t stop guns from falling into the hands of the wrong people.
“There’s not been a prohibition on carrying them, they just throw a coat over the top of them now rather than having them exposed, is the only real difference. The people you don’t want carrying guns, they’ll do it whether there’s a law or not,” said Messer.
Kansas is a Constitutional Carry State. A concealed carry license, available to those who complete required training, allows the holder to carry in states that have reciprocal agreements with Kansas.
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