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Concealed Carry 101: Understanding Kansas' Gun Possession and Open Carry Laws | Wichita Criminal Defense Attorney


WICHITA, Kan., March 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Like other areas in the United States, Kansas upholds the Second Amendment right to bear arms. As a result, many questions have arisen about specific gun carry laws within our state, including questions regarding possession, open carry, and concealed carry. Our Wichita criminal defense attorneys at the McConnell Law Firm are well-versed in gun laws and are detailing the most important things you should know when it comes to possessing a firearm in the state of Kansas.

Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry

Kansas is an open carry state, meaning that individuals can openly carry firearms without a permit if they meet all local regulations. These regulations include not carrying a gun in prohibited locations, such as schools, courthouses, governmental buildings, etc. This differs from concealed carry, as individuals with concealed carry permits can keep firearms hidden from plain view, either on their person or in their vehicle, often worn under clothing or in a discrete holster. Because Kansas is a "shall-issue" state, any applicant meeting the following requirements must be issued a concealed carry license:

  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • Be a legal resident of the United States and Kansas for at least six months.
  • Complete an approved firearms safety and training course.
  • Not have any disqualifying criminal convictions or mental health conditions.

*There are different requirements when purchasing long rifles as opposed to purchasing a handgun. You must be 18 or older to purchase a long rifle or ammunition, with additional exceptions being made for purposes of hunting.

"In an open-carry state like Kansas, you can have a firearm openly displayed on you without penalty, including in your car," said Erica Ramstad Whitsell, a Wichita criminal defense attorney at the McConnell Law Firm. This differs from a concealed carry permit, where individuals can carry a firearm not openly visible to others. While you don't necessarily need a license in Kansas to carry a concealed weapon (generally a handgun), permits are typically used for purposes of purchasing firearms more easily and traveling to other states that honor Kansas' concealed carry permits."

Are There Firearm Restrictions in Kansas?

While Kansas allows individuals to carry firearms openly, there are specific restrictions and regulations you must follow when possessing a firearm. If you're a gun owner, it's important to familiarize yourself with these restrictions and comply with state and federal laws to avoid serious legal consequences in the future. These restrictions include, but are not limited to, the following:

Felony Charges: Convicted felons, individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders, and those who have been adjudicated as mentally incompetent are prohibited from possessing firearms in Kansas.
Prohibited Locations: Firearms are not permitted in certain locations, such as schools, courthouses, government buildings, and places of worship that have posted signs prohibiting firearms.
Underage Persons: Kansas law prohibits individuals under the age of 18 from possessing firearms, with some exceptions for supervised recreational activities such as hunting and target shooting.
Illegal Firearms: Possession of certain types of firearms, such as fully automatic weapons or firearms with modified serial numbers, is illegal under federal and state law.
Drug and Alcohol Restrictions: Individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are prohibited from possessing firearms.

"Federal gun laws don't always match the state of Kansas gun laws," said Whitsell. "While Kansas could approve of something, the federal government may not. Because gun charges are very complex issues that vary by case, it's important to familiarize yourself with both state and federal regulations and defer to the federal regulations, should there be a discrepancy."

Can I Own a Gun With a Felony Charge?

As can be expected, individuals with felony convictions will face restrictions regarding possessing a firearm due to federal law. This restriction applies regardless of whether the felony was a state or federal offense. Generally speaking, the restrictions on firearms are intended to prevent violent individuals or those with a history of criminal behavior from being able to access such a weapon. However, there are some exceptions where you may be able to have your firearm rights restored, primarily if a conviction is expunged or reduced to a misdemeanor.

"If you've been convicted of a felony, you won't be able to possess a firearm—concealed or not," said Whitsell. "If you've only been charged, your rights aren't going to be impacted until there's some sort of disposition. It's important to contact a criminal defense attorney to understand your specific rights and restrictions, as legal counsel may be able to help reinstate your firearm rights and expunge your conviction."

Have You Been Accused?

If you need assistance restoring your firearm rights, we encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm as soon as possible. While every case is different, and no conclusions should be drawn without first consulting one of our Wichita criminal defense attorneys about the specifics of your case, it is always in your best interest to have a skilled attorney by your side from the beginning.

Request a Free Consultation

Do you or a loved one need the assistance of an expert Wichita criminal defense attorney? We encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm at (316) 243-5903 for a free consultation.


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SOURCE McConnell Law Firm