TOPEKA, KAN. (KAKE)--- Twenty-six Kansas senators are pushing for legislation that will allow gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
"The Kansas Senate supports the right to keep and bear arms," said Sen. Terry Bruce, R-34th District. "We're just guaranteeing that individuals have the right to protect themselves and their families."
Currently, Kansans must obtain a permit before they can carry a concealed weapon in public.
However, those wishing to openly carry a weapon don't have to follow the same requirement.
That's in part why Senate Majority Leader and the bill's chief sponsor Sen. Bruce wants gun owners to be able to bypass the permit process to carry a concealed weapon.
"It doesn't necessarily make sense that in Kansas we allow for open carry without a permit but we refuse somebody to have the ability to carry a firearm concealed on their person," he said.
Opponents argue the permit process was in place to keep people safer; relaxing gun control laws could have the opposite effect.
"If they want a gun, they're going through training, they're getting a license for concealed carry. We at least have some notion that people have some understanding of the safety features and the importance of having some training and what it means to be a responsible gun carrier," Sen. Pat Pettey, D-6th District said. "We go to no kinds of permits for concealed carry, to me, it does not lift the level of safety in our community."
Senator Forrest Knox (R-Altoona) a co-sponsor of the bill said, "The vast majority of Kansans are law abiding citizens and should be trusted to keep the peace. SB 45 is a common sense proposal designed to empower citizens to protect themselves from those that wish them harm."
Additional co-sponsors of the legislation include Senators; Steve Abrams (R-Arkansas City), Tom Arpke (R-Salina), Molly Baumgardner (R-Louisburg), Elaine Bowers (R-Concordia), Les Donovan (R-Wichita), Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth), Mitch Holmes (R-St. John), Laura Kelly (D-Topeka), Dan Kerschen (R-Garden Plains), Jake LaTurner (R-Pittsburg), Jeff Longbine (R-Emporia), Garrett Love (R-Montezuma), Julia Lynn (R-Olathe), Ty Masterson (R-Andover), Michael O'Donnell (R-Wichita), Rob Olson (R-Olathe), Ralph Ostmeyer (R-Grinnell), Mike Petersen (R-Wichita), Mary Pilcher Cook (R-Shawnee), Larry Powell (R-Garden City), Dennis Pyle (R-Hiawatha), Greg Smith (R-Overland Park), Caryn Tyson (R- Parker), and Rick Wilborn (R-McPherson).