Prairie Village man sues over city's open-carry gun ordinance - KCTV5

Prairie Village man sues over city's open-carry gun ordinance

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -

A man who lives in Prairie Village is challenging the city's ordinance banning people from wearing guns openly in public places.

Grant Nelson is part of a group known as Johnson County Open Carry. The lawsuit was filed on his behalf after other challenges were thrown out because the plaintiffs didn't actually live in the city that they were suing.

The group sought to have an open-carry picnic in Prairie Village, but city leaders rejected the request.

"State law states quite plainly that you may openly carry a firearm," Nelson said.

He added that Prairie Village and other cities cannot supersede state law.

"What city laws can do, they can tell you how you can carry a gun," he said. "But they cannot, according to state law, restrict you from openly carrying a firearm."

He said he plans to run on the Libertarian ticket for lieutenant governor of Kansas.

Similar challenges have been filed in Overland Park and Lenexa. The City Council in Lenexa would later overturn their ban and an open-carry picnic was held there.

The Prairie Village Council could discuss the legal challenge at its Nov. 4. The city currently allows people to openly carry weapons on private property.

The Prairie Village Police Department says that as long as the city ordinance stands that they will ticket or arrest anyone openly holstering a weapon on public property.

"I think it's a concern for many officers in law enforcement. The less people you have that are armed on the street, the safer we are," said Capt. Wes Lovett of the Prairie Village Police Department."Personally, people walking down the street with an open carry could be alarming to a lot of people."

The city of Prairie Village issued the following statement Monday night:

The City has received a lawsuit challenging the sections of the City Code that prohibit the open carry of loaded firearms in public places. The lawsuit alleges that the City Code is in conflict with the Kansas Constitution and a Kansas Statute. The Mayor and City Council do not believe that the City Code violates the Kansas Constitution or the Kansas Statutes.

The City prohibits the open carry of loaded firearms in public places such as parks, streets, sidewalks and city buildings. The City does not restrict open carry of legal firearms on private property such as a person's residence or fixed place of business. The restrictions specific to open carry do not apply to any person carrying a concealed weapon as authorized by Kansas Statutes.

The members of the Governing Body of the City believe the community will support the City's defense of its power to regulate the open carry of loaded firearms on public property such as parks.

A similar challenge was filed in December 2012. The suit was dismissed by a Johnson County judge after ruling the plaintiff did not have standing or harm.

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