While Leavenworth’s police chief can provide information about how gun laws impact people in the city, he recommends gun owners still research the law, particularly if they plan on traveling with their firearms.
“Some laws are very, very complicated,” Pat Kitchens said.
The police chief said one of the most common questions he receives concerning firearms come from people who want to travel to another state with their guns.
Kitchens said he can tell people what’s legal in Kansas. But they need to research what is legal in other states.
He said some cities also may have their own gun regulations.
Kitchens said it’s important to thoroughly research gun laws because the consequences of a firearms violation can be severe.
The chief recently provided an overview about gun laws to the Leavenworth City Commission. The presentation had been requested by a member of the commission.
Kitchens said a person in Kansas must by at least 18 to possess a shotgun or rifle. In order to have a handgun, a person must be at least 21. He said there are exceptions to these age restrictions for things such as hunting and shooting competitions.
The chief said a person has to be U.S. citizen to own or possess of firearm in the United States.
He said a person who is convicted of a felony loses his right to own a firearm. People also can be prohibited from possessing a firearm if they are addicted to drugs, diagnosed with a mental illness or have been convicted of domestic violence.
Kitchens said there are some types of firearms, such as fully automatic weapons, that are strictly regulated, generally by the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives. He said even law enforcement agencies have to obtain permission to own such weapons.
Kitchens said people in Kansas can obtain permits that allow them to carry concealed handguns. He said business owners can display signs if they don’t want people carrying concealed firearms into their establishments, but a specific type of sign is required.
The chief said the state of Kansas has no rules prohibiting the open carry of a firearm. He said this means a person can carry a firearm in a holster without a permit as long as the gun is not concealed.
Kitchens said it gets tricky when it comes to carrying firearms in vehicles. He said a gun should be unloaded and kept in container while inside a vehicle.
“Otherwise it might be considered concealed,” he said.