With overwhelming votes in the state House (85-39) and Senate (31-8), a Constitutional Carry bill has been sent to Kansas Governor Brownback who is expected to sign it. In Mississippi, a bill that would allow those who carry a gun “in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case” to carry without a permit. The House passed the bill by 103-15. The Senate is posed to pass it and the governor has already said that he will sign it. The Mississippi bill would seem to make it so that women will be more likely to carry than men. Utah also is pushing Constitutional Carry, but it has farther to go (the state Senate passed the bill by a veto proof 21 to 6, the state House won’t pick it up until next year).
Kansas and Mississippi will then join Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Wyoming, and Vermont that allow people carry anywhere in a state without a permit. Idaho and Montana allow people to carry outside of city limits without a permit, in Montana that means one can carry without a permit in 99.4% of the state. West Virginia almost joined the list of these states with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Senate (32-2) and the House (71-29), but the governor vetoed the bill after the legislature had adjourned for the year. That said, there is a good chance the veto will be overridden next year.
On the Kansas bill, the Topeka Capital-Journal has this note:
The House and Senate gave approval to a controversial bill Wednesday authorizing people over 21 years of age to carry concealed any type of firearm without obtaining weapons training or securing a state license.
It has been legal for nine years to carry concealed in Kansas with a permit. About 90,000 people have obtained that license after undergoing a background check, completing a safety program and paying a fee. State law also allows open carry of firearms.
Repeal of Kansas’ permit mandate for conceal-carry was framed as a reflection of the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the 2010 amendment added to the Kansas Constitution.
Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady, a Palco Republican and the House’s chief advocate of Senate Bill 45, referred to the existing training requirement tied to acquisition of conceal-carry licenses in Kansas as a waste of time.
“It’s simply a feel-good measure,” Couture-Lovelady said. “This bill is about freedom and liberty. No more tests. No more fees. No license. Carrying guns is a lifestyle and government should trust its citizens.” . . .
In Kansas, Constitutional Carry would dramatically lower the fee from $150 to zero and the training requirement from 8 hours to zero.
In Mississippi, Constitutional Carry for those with purses and bags would save them the $132 permit fee though no training ($82 for renewal). For those who will still need to get permits, the cost will be reduced to at most $112 ($72 for renewal).
In West Virginia, it currently costs $100 to get a permit and training is required.