Kansas to allow open carry of guns beginning July 1

Kansas may take a step back into its Old West days as an open carry gun law goes into effect July 1.

The new law, HB 2578, passed by the Kansas Legislature, will allow people to openly carry a firearm in Kansas.

According to a Kansas City, Kan., police spokesman, persons will be allowed to carry a firearm in a holster, a rifle on a sling, or a gun simply pointed in a safe direction while carrying it.

According to a news release from the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, there are a few exceptions to the open carry law:

• – A person may not possess a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics that causes them to be incapable of safely operating the firearm.
• – A person may not possess a firearm who is both addicted to and an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
• – A convicted felon may not possess a firearm.
• – A person may not be suffering from a mental illness that would be cause for involuntary commitment.
• – A person under 18 may not possess a firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches.
• – Automatic weapons are prohibited.
• – A shotgun shall not have a barrel of less than 18 inches.
• – A person may not possess a firearm on any unified school district or accredited nonpublic school property or in attendance of school events for grades K-12.
• For more detail refer to K.S.A. 21-6301.

Business owners within Kansas City, Kan., may prohibit the carrying of firearms into their business by posting the proper signage. The link to the proposed signs and regulations is http://ag.ks.gov/public-safety/concealedcarry/2014-proposed-signage.

The Board of Trustees of a Community College may restrict or prohibit the open carry or concealed carry into some or all buildings.

A city or county (municipality) as defined by K.S.A. 2013 Supp 75-7c20, may adopt personnel policies to restrict the concealed carry of handguns in the municipal building in which the employee’s work place is located if the building is exempt from the provisions of K.S.A. 2013 Supp 75-7c20 or if the building is posted as prohibiting concealed carry and adequate security measures are provided.

Proposed signs for local governments and businesses are on the Kansas attorney general’s website at http://ag.ks.gov/public-safety/concealedcarry/2014-proposed-signage.

Homicide victims identified

Two homicide victims have been identified, according to Kansas City, Kan., police.

The victims were found June 19 in the 1200 block of Esplanade Avenue.

They were identified as Naythan T. Walton, 22, of Kansas City, Kan., and Lydell D. Irvin Jr., 25, of Kansas City, Kan.

The incident is under investigation by the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department’s Major Case Unit. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Wyandotte County has highest unemployment rate in Kansas

Wyandotte County had the highest unemployment of any county in Kansas in the latest unemployment figures.

In Wyandotte County, a 7.8 percent unemployment rate was recorded for May. That is up from 6.6 percent in April. The May rate is the same as one year ago, 7.8 percent.

The Kansas Department of Labor released the unemployment figures this week.

Kansas City, Kan., had an unemployment rate of 8 percent, the highest of all the large cities in Kansas.

The 7.8 percent unemployed in Wyandotte County represents 5,513 persons, according to KDOL figures.

Sedgwick County, which has a 5.6 percent unemployment rate and includes Wichita, has 13,625 unemployed persons. Johnson County, with a 4.3 percent unemployment rate, has 12,986 unemployed persons, according to KDOL figures.

According to KDOL, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.8 percent was about the same as last month, and was down from 5.6 percent a year ago.

State officials said Kansas counted 5,459 persons who entered the labor force as employed in May, as compared to 398 people who entered the labor force as unemployed.

To see the county unemployment rates, visit https://klic.dol.ks.gov/admin/gsipub/htmlarea/uploads/LR%20F%20May2014%20-%20Comparison.pdf.