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Vandenack, Tim. 2006 ‘Proponents: 'Old West' Concerns Not Valid.’ Hutchinson News. Hutchinson KS: 18 February

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Photo: Visitors and others entering Dodge City in 1880, when this photo was taken, couldn't claim ignorance about the local gun laws. 'The carrying of firearms strictly prohibited,' reads the sign atop a water well.
Photo Courtesy of The Kansas State Historical Society

DODGE CITY - It was the late 1870s, the height of the mythic Wild West, and W.N. Morphy, editor of the Ford County Globe, pondered the presence of guns on Dodge City streets.

"An honest man attending to his own business doesn't require the constant companionship of a six-shooter to make him feel easy and safe," he opined on March 5, 1878, referencing a local ban on concealed guns. Indeed, "there is something rotten with a man's conscience," he continued, if he must walk the streets with a weapon … concealed weapons prohibitions in Kansas date to statehood in 1861.

… bans were in place in most of Kansas' cattle towns, including Dodge City, Wichita, Ellsworth and Abilene.

… concealed-carry bans persisted, even as the state's rough edges smoothed out, and eventually became state law. The current legislation - which permits concealed weapons in gun owners' homes and places of business - dates to 1969.

Locales can be more restrictive than the state, said Kim Winn of the League of Kansas Municipalities. In Wichita, for instance, a local ordinance prohibits the carrying of exposed guns in public, as well as concealed weapons. By contrast, local ordinances in places such as Hutchinson and Dodge City mimic state law, banning concealed arms but making no prohibition on carrying guns in the open.

ID: Q11281

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