TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A bill to lower the legal age to carry concealed firearms in Kansas from 21 to 18 won final passage Thursday in the Kansas House.
The state House approved the bill on a 85-38 vote, sending it to the Senate. The bill’s support came mostly from Republicans, who say that those under 21 are eligible to vote and serve in the military. Opponents say those under 21 are less mature and more prone to risk-taking.
People as young as 18 can already carry firearms in the open in Kansas. The legislation would require those under 21 to complete a background check and undergo safety training to carry concealed firearms, which is currently required for those 21 and older.
The legislation would significantly increase the number of university and college students in Kansas eligible to carry concealed firearms on campus.
The House rejected amendments from Democrats on Wednesday that would allow universities to decide whether to allow concealed carry-on campuses and ban concealed weapons in the Statehouse.
The House Federal and State Affairs Committee held a hearing on the bill, but the chairman opted not to hold a vote. State Rep. Stephen Owens, a Hesston Republican, then offered it as an amendment to another bill on the floor.