Open carry now legal all across Kansas

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. - It's legal, as of July 1, to openly carry a weapon in Kansas.

On Tuesday, the state's new open carry law allowed anyone who wants to carry a gun on their holster to do so.

People in the state of Kansas have always been allowed to openly carry weapons, but over time, cities like Prairie Village made it illegal.

On Tuesday, lawmakers made open carry laws equal with concealed carry laws: it is uniformly legal now in every city across the state.

Private businesses can still forbid it, but public spaces like parks and municipal buildings must allow it.

Cities have four years to prepare their city halls for open carry laws.

Kansas Open Carry group president, Shaun Hill, said he will openly carry his handgun because it is his constitutional right and he believes it will make society safer than today.

"It's about protecting my family, protecting those around me if need be. On top of it, it's a constitutional right," he said.

But summer camp teacher Maggie Thomas said even though it's Hill's right to show his gun, she'd rather he not.

"Anyone with a gun out for anyone to see gives an unspoken message and that is that I have a weapon and I would be willing to use it and whether it's for good or bad - it makes me feel uncomfortable," said Thomas.

The Johnson County Open Carry Group plans to have an open carry picnic to celebrate Kansas' new law by the Prairie Village pool at Harmon Park in late July.

The city of Overland Park has allowed people to openly carry weapons for years. Police said they have not had any problems.

The state of Kansas said gun owners don't need a permit to openly carry guns but owners will still need one to carry a concealed weapon.

The Kansas Attorney General said the number of concealed carry permits they have issued has increased five times since 2008. 

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