Kansas governor rejects bill to lower concealed carry age to 18
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) vetoed legislation on Friday that would have lowered the legal age to carry concealed weapons to 18 years old.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Kelly said that House Bill 2058 would allow more guns on school campuses, which would drive potential students away.
“Throughout my time in public office, I have been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and of Kansans’ right to own firearms,” Kelly said.
“But we can respect and defend the rights of Kansas gun owners while also taking effective steps to keep our children and families safe,” she continued. “Legislation that allows more guns on campus is neither safe nor effective, and it will drive prospective students away from our schools.”
I have always been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but we can respect and defend the rights of Kansas gun owners while also taking effective steps to keep our children and families safe. See my full statement on vetoing HB 2058: pic.twitter.com/5kCuGLj8so
— Governor Laura Kelly (@GovLauraKelly) April 23, 2021
The legislation would have created two different licenses for concealed carry in the state.
Residents ages 18 years and older would be eligible for a provisional license, while a standard license would be issued to residents who are at least 21 years old. Anyone applying for either license have to undergo safety and training courses certified by the state attorney general.
According to the Kansas City Star, 91 percent of students that attend schools run by the Kansas Board of Regents would have been allowed to carry weapons if the bill was passed.
According to The Associated Press, only 11 states allow residents age 18 and older to conceal carry weapons.
The state’s Senate passed the bill with enough votes to override Kelly’s veto, AP reported. However, it fell short of the supermajority needed in the House since five Republicans voted against it.
The National Rife Association’s (NRA) Institute for Legislative Action said in a statement that Kelly “denied tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners the ability to defend themselves and their families when away from home.”
“Hopefully the legislature will correct this grave injustice and override her veto in the coming session,” the Institute said.
The veto comes after Kelly vetoed legislation on Thursday that would have banned transgender women and girls from participating in women’s sports.
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