By Kara Gale

A group of lawmakers in the Kansas Senate, including Hutchinson area Sen. Terry Bruce, have introduced a bill that would allow any Kansan who can legally own a gun to carry it concealed in public.

The bill would do away with the need to acquire a concealed-carry permit.

Bruce, the bill’s primary sponsor, said Senate Bill 45 is merely an expansion of Kansas citizen’s Second Amendment rights and it should not lead to more shootings. “Most incidents, I believe, they resolve themselves with the gun being brandished,” he said.

This proposed law comes on the heels of the “open carry” law, passed in the last session, that went into effect on July 1. This law allows Kansas residents to openly carry guns anywhere in the state without a permit. A permit for a concealed gun was still required, according to that bill.

Previously, it was legal to openly carry a gun in some areas of the state but not others. This law makes it legal in every city across Kansas.

Cities like Overland Park have allowed guns to be openly carried for years, without any issues. Anna Jilka, Westmooreland, said she was fine with that.

“It’s good because it’s my constitutional right,” Jilka said. “You have to go through a background check before you buy a gun, so as long as you’re going through the right channels, it’s fine.”

“I’m all for personal protection,” said Jacob Williams, Herndon.

In the end, it is about being able to protect yourself.

Some lawmakers felt that letting residents openly carry a gun gives them a “license to kill.”

Jilka disagrees.

“Bad guys have guns anyway, and your first line of protection is yourself. All it takes is one good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.”

While some people may not agree with this new ordinance, the goal is for all Kansans to be able to protect themselves if a bad situation arises.

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