Kansas City moves to ban open carry of firearms

File photo of Kansas City, Mo. skyline (KSNT Photo/Brian Dulle)
File photo of Kansas City, Mo. skyline (KSNT Photo/Brian Dulle)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The city council in Kansas City has voted unanimously to ban the open carry of firearms, but the law could be stripped by a measure state lawmakers have approved to limit cities’ abilities to craft such rules.

The city council voted 9-0 Thursday for the new law, which bans open carry and takes effect in less than two weeks, The Kansas City Star reported.

Mayor Sly James said the open carry ban is a regulatory option cities still have under Missouri’s lenient gun laws — under which open carry is allowed — and open carry is not appropriate for Kansas City.

“This is not an environment where we need to have everyone armed to the teeth,” James said in urging the council to adopt the measure.

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a bill that the Missouri General Assembly approved prohibiting cities from banning open carry for gun permit holders. But the legislature holds its veto override session Sept. 10. State Sen. Will Kraus, a bill sponsor and Republican from eastern Jackson County, said he feels confident in the chances for an override.

If lawmakers override Nixon’s veto, Kraus’ law prohibiting cities from adopting full open-carry bans would take effect Oct. 10.

Kraus said his bill also allows people with concealed carry permits to carry weapons openly, and reduces the minimum age required to get a concealed carry permit from 21 to 19.

“I want to make sure law-abiding citizens have the right to bear arms,” Kraus said.

Open carry has also been an issue in Kansas, where the Legislature approved a bill in April that nullified most city and county gun restrictions. The Kansas Legislature said cities could no longer ban the open carrying of weapons in public areas, parks and sidewalks. The law, which took effect July 1, however, gives municipalities a three-year exemption, during which time they can prohibit guns in government buildings.

 

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