While gun control bills aren’t moving in Congress at the moment, at the state level there’s quite a bit of activity when it comes to firearms. In Blue America, they’re talking about raising taxes on guns and ammo and confiscating ammunition magazines. In Red America, meanwhile, they’re talking about Constitutional Carry and lowering the age limit to lawfully carry a firearm for self-defense.
On a 30 to 8 vote Wednesday, the Senate approved a bill to lower the minimum age to carry a concealed weapon from 21 to 18. It would also make valid in Kansas any concealed carry licenses from other states.
The bill, which had already passed in the House 85-38, now goes to a conference committee because the Senate added provisions allowing Kansans with prior convictions to obtain concealed carry licenses after their records are expunged.
Kansans as young as 18 can already open carry firearms, but open carry is not allowed on college campuses. Under the new law, far more students could carry guns on campus.
In a debate lawmakers rejected amendments brought by Democrats that would have increased the minimum age to 19 or kept it at 21.
If someone’s legally allowed to keep their arms, they should be legally allowed to bear them in self-defense as well, and I’m glad the see the state Senate approve this measure, despite some unfounded objections from anti-gun politicians.
Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, a Galena Republican, said these young adults are already able to join the military. They would be required to receive training and obtain a license.
Under current law, he said, it is only illegal for them to possess a gun if they cover it up. “If they put on a jacket they’re breaking the law,” he said.
But opponents worried the bill could give high school students easy access to guns.
“We are allowing 18-year-olds who are high school seniors to have guns concealed at parties where there may or may not be alcohol, and with that I think we are just asking for more concern,” said Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat.
Someone needs to tell the Senate Minority Leader that the legal drinking age in Kansas is 21. Odd that she seems to believe a prohibition on under-21s from obtaining a concealed carry license would stop illegal misuse of a firearm while Kansas’ ban on drinking before the age of 21 is being flagrantly violated by teenagers.
It’s a silly argument for a couple of other reasons as well. First, as has been noted, 18-year olds can already openly carry a firearm in Kansas, and that hasn’t led to an outbreak of the Wild, Wild West since the law was changed. Plus, we know that concealed carry holders are actually more law-abiding than the general population, so why would anyone think that an 18-year old who’s legally carrying is going to more inclined to illegally consume alcohol? If anything, I’d think they’d be less likely to gun up and party down.
Not only is this bill a step in the right direction, it’s a sign that pro-2A states aren’t going to simply roll over and show their belly to anti-gun Democrats in Washington, D.C. Instead, as Democrats try to impose new gun control restrictions, many red states are responding with legislation to strengthen and secure our Second Amendment rights. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction, and the Left’s attempt to restrict our firearm freedoms is so far being answered with attempts to expand those freedoms to more law-abiding folks.. even young adults.