Kansas passes concealed-carry

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Over the veto of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, the Kansas Legislature has passed a law allowing law-abiding citizens to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons.

By my count, this makes Kansas the 39th state with such a "concealed-carry" law, which requires in most cases that the applicant has no criminal record (or civil restraining orders) and has been trained in using guns safely.

Governor Sebelius expressed some of the concerns that concealed-carry weapons opponents have often voiced (I shared them myself, when Florida became the first state to pass such a law in 1987): that there would be shootouts in the streets, that road rage would escalate into gunshot deaths.

The experience of states with concealed-carry weapons laws seems to have proved that these concerns are unwarranted. Ordinary law-abiding citizens, it seems, behave responsibly when they carry guns, just as they do in other respects. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm opposed that state's concealed-carry law when it was passed in 2001 (she was attorney general at the time) but has since said that fears about it had not been justified. She recently signed a law allowing those with a permit to carry a pistol to lend their guns to others with such permits.

While people in Washington talk about gun control as a response to violent crime, the legislatures in most states have gone in the other direction.