The Overland Park City Council's public safety committee has decided to seek a higher opinion when it comes to proposed changes in the city's open-carry firearms ordinance.
The committee decided Wednesday night to seek a legal opinion from the Kansas attorney general before acting.
The city's ordinance conflicts in some areas with state law, and council members are considering matching the ordinance up with state law.
Currently, Overland Park says you only need to be at least 18 years old to keep a weapon in a holster with a safety on. You cannot bring a weapon into a building that bans weapons.
State law says only U.S. citizens who are 21 and older can have concealed weapons. Those who do must complete an eight-hour weapons safety and training course. The state also puts in restrictions involving criminal history, such as drug arrests and domestic violence convictions, as well as mental health issues.
"It seemed to me that if a person is going to carry a firearm in public [then] the same standards should apply, whether they're actually concealing it or carrying it in the open," Councilman Jim Hix said. "The state did a lot of research and vetted the whole issue of what needed to be done to make them safe when they implemented the conceal-carry law, so it seemed like an easy fix to just use the same principles."
Earl McIntosh, Libertarian Party spokesman, said it is less about gun rights and more about civil liberties.
"If they want any type of changes, which, you know what, if they had a statewide, uniform regulation, we support that," McIntosh said. "But, what they're doing is creating confusion and a hodge-podge of laws in trying to circumvent state laws, and that is what we're against."
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