Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation on Thursday that will allow his state’s residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
The new law, which is effective as of July 1, makes Kansas the sixth state to allow “constitutional carry” – meaning that anyone over the age of 21 is allowed to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
“Responsible gun ownership – for protection and sport – is a right inherent in our Constitution,” Brownback said in a statement.
According to reports, the new law will still carry the requirement that those who are to carry firearms in the 36 states that recognize Kansas’ permits receive training. Brownback supported the use of training, citing a recent hunter safety course that his son took part in.
“It was an excellent course. He got a lot out of it. I got a lot out of it. And I want to urge people to take advantage of that,” he said.
The Governor clarified, despite his encouragement towards the use training, that he didn’t support it as a requirement.
“We’re saying that if you want to do that in this state, then you don’t have to get the permission slip from the government,” he said. “It is a constitutional right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right.”
Loren Stanton, President of the Kansas chapter of the Brady Campaign, expressed concern about making gun safety training optional.
“There is no way that taking away training can make guns safer,” Stanton said.
Kansas Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau also vocalized her concerns about safety in regard to the new law.
“That’s a major responsibility to carry a gun, whether it’s concealed or not. And it’s scary,” Goudeau said. “I predict from the legislation that — and it’s going to go quick, it’s going to be July 1 — we’re going to see some accidents, possibly deaths.”