Firearm Laws in Kansas
In Kansas, firearms laws are relatively permissive compared to other US states. Here are some key provisions:
- Open carry is generally allowed for individuals legally to possess firearms, although some restrictions exist in certain places, such as government buildings and schools.
- Concealed carry is allowed with a permit, which can be obtained by completing a training course and meeting other eligibility requirements.
- Reciprocal carry: Kansas recognizes concealed carry permits from all other states as long as the permit holder is not a resident of Kansas.
- Waiting period: There are no waiting periods for purchasing firearms in Kansas.
- Stand Your Ground: Kansas law allows for using deadly force in certain circumstances, including self-defense and defense of others.
Kansas’ population is just shy of 3,000,000 residents. It is centered in the continental U.S. It has four (4) neat and clear (almost straight) borders. Nebraska is its neighbor to the north. To the east is Missouri, with Oklahoma to the south. Kansas shares its western border with Colorado.
Like most other states, no permit is needed to purchase handguns, rifles, or shotguns in the state of Kansas. There is also no registration necessary for handguns, shotguns, or rifles. Owners do not need licenses to own handguns, rifles, or shotguns. Permits are, however, necessary to carry handguns but not rifles or shotguns. Despite not needing a permit to purchase firearms, selling, transferring, transferring, or giving a firearm with a twelve-inch barrel or less to any individual under eighteen is illegal. Kansas law prohibits transferring, giving, or selling firearms to specific individuals.
These individuals include those who are illegal users of and are addicted to any controlled substance; individuals who have been convicted, in the past ten years, of specific felonies while possessing a firearm; individuals who have been convicted of felonies in the past five years; and individuals who have been convicted of felonies while using a firearm during the crime. Even if the felonies have been expunged or pardoned, if they fall under the specified criteria, they are still not allowed to possess a firearm until the designated time has passed.
According to Kansas law, it is illegal to transfer, give, or sell firearms to those addicted to alcohol or narcotics. Kansas also has a new law that allows Kansas residents to purchase firearms from dealers outside of Kansas, as long as the dealers are licensed, and the purchase complies with Kansas law and federal laws.
Possessing Firearms in the State of Kansas
Like the selling of firearms, only a few are allowed to possess them. Controlled substance addicts and users are not allowed by Kansas law to possess firearms. Individuals who have violated provisions of Kansas’ controlled substances uniform act lose their eligibility along with any convicted felon. Those in violation of any offense that is equivalent to a Kansas felony also lose their gun rights. Adjudicated juveniles for offenses that are the equivalent of an adult felony are not eligible for gun possession, nor have juveniles who violated the Controlled Substances Uniform Act. Juvenile offenders who have committed offenses using firearms lose their right to bear them.
Kansas also has a ten-year statute where those who have committed certain offenses may regain their firearm privileges after a ten-year waiting period. These offenses include specific felonies, specific offenses that are equivalent to felonies, certain adjudicated juveniles for adult offenses, some offenses that did not include using a firearm that was later pardoned or expunged, and certain individuals who have been released from imprisonment for a nonperson felony that would otherwise be charged as an adult offense.
Legal Firearm Possession
In most cases, any gun is prohibited on school property unless carried by law enforcement. Firearms can exist on school property under specific stipulations that include usage in a safety class, permission granted by the school’s superintendent or head administrator, being carried in a parent or otherwise authorized adult’s vehicle while picking up a student, and during the hours on election day while contained in a registered voter’s secured vehicle.
As of 7/1/15, Kansas permits any resident of Kansas who is at least 21 years old and not prohibited from owning a firearm to carry a handgun without a permit, openly or concealed.
Carrying Firearms in Vehicles
Kansas has no laws regulating the manner of carrying firearms in vehicles, so anyone legally allowed to possess firearms may carry them in vehicles without a permit, concealed or openly. Anyone 21 years of age who can legally possess a handgun can carry it concealed or openly in Kansas without any permit/license, both in a vehicle and on foot.
Can You Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?
Yes. There is no law stating it is illegal. You can carry it in a restaurant that serves alcohol or in a bar. If the restaurant or bar has a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that you not enter the establishment. You can carry your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol or a bar, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm
Kansas has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat from any place. You have a legal right to be. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling, residence, or occupied motor vehicle if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death or SBI as a result of the unlawful entry.
Open carry is legal for those without a valid permit/license. The state preempts all local firearm laws in the state. The minimum age for open carry is 18. Places listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry.
By statute, Kansas will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Kansas’s license:
“A valid license, issued by any other state or the District of Columbia, to carry concealed weapons shall be recognized as valid in this state, but only while the holder is not a resident of Kansas, if the attorney general determines that standards for issuance of such license or permit by such state or district are equal to or greater than the standards imposed by this act.”
By statute, Kansas residents 21 or older may legally carry a concealed firearm without having a state-issued permit. However, Kansans must obtain a concealed carry permit for reciprocal carry. Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Kansas AG at when the reciprocal carry is to occur.
Under Kansas law, a license to carry a handgun does not permit carry in any of the following places or circumstances:
- Within the governor’s residence
- Any private or public building (not including a parking lot adjacent thereto) that chooses to restrict carry and has posted with AG approved signage for the prohibition
- An individual may be charged with trespass to an area if an area has an AG-approved sign stating no firearms and the individual does not leave when asked to
- Preschools, elementary schools, and middle schools, whether public or private, with AG approval
- In the Docking state office building
- Within 500 feet of the Landon state office building
- Within the Judicial center or any other state-owned or leased building
- Secure areas of a jail, correctional facility, or law enforcement agency
- In a county courthouse
- While under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both
- State government employees with valid carry permits may now carry while on the job, and public (but not private) employers may not prohibit their employees from carrying on the job. This provision does NOT affect existing bans on carrying weapons in sensitive places such as courthouses or the state capitol.
You may conceal carry in any public area of state and municipal buildings. This encompasses carrying at public universities.
For more information, including the specific provisions and requirements for open and concealed carry, as well as restrictions on certain types of firearms, it is recommended to consult the Kansas Attorney General’s website on firearms laws: https://ag.ks.gov/docs/default-source/documents/firearms/concealedcarrystatutes.pdf?sfvrsn=10.