Concealed Carry Veto Likely

Supporters of a measure to allow carrying of concealed weapons aren't giving up their fight.

About 50 of them gathered on the Statehouse steps over the noon hour Friday. They're urging other supporters to call and write Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, trying to convince her not to pull the trigger on concealed carry.

"The question I have for Gov. Sebelius is why are you afraid? Why do you fear law abiding citizens," said Richard Dyer of Lawrence, a concealed carry supporter.

"I cannot understand why anyone would deny me the right to defend myself," said fellow supporter Carissa McKenzie of Wabaunsee County.

A measure to allow Kansans to carry concealed weapons passed both the House and the Senate. But Gov. Sebelius said Friday it basically has no future in her office.

"While I haven't seen the final bill, unless there's something in it I don't understand, it would be my intent to veto it," Sebelius said.

Sebelius said Kansas law already lets people own and carry weapons, and she doesn't believe concealing weapons on the street would make for any better self-defense.

"I have not seen any evidence that tells me Kansans will be safer with this type of law," she said. "In fact, our crime rates are better than any of the surrounding states with conceal and carry."

But supporters say Kansas needs to fall in line with the rest of the country. It's one of only four states that doesn't allow concealed carry.

"I don't think we should be the last state in the union to have this. I certainly think we should be the next state," said Rep. Candy Ruff, D-Leavenworth, a sponsor of the bill.

"We just want permission," said Jeffrey Locke of Fort Scott, another concealed carry supporter. "We will go through the scrutiny, we'll pay what fees we need to because we are concerned about defending ourselves. It's like insurance - if you have it and you never use it, you're blessed. But you'd better be prepared with insurance if you need it."

The governor's office expects to officially receive the bill next week. Sebelius does have the option of letting if become law without her signature, but she said she will not do that.

Concealed carry did win enough votes in the Senate to override a veto, but it would need to pick up six more votes in the House.