Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Preemption of Local Laws in Kansas.’ Other Laws & Policies. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2 August

Relevant contents

Local Authority to Regulate Firearms in Kansas

Kansas Statutes Annotated § 12-16,124(a) provides that:

No city or county shall adopt any ordinance, resolution or regulation, and no agent of any city or county shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, transfer, ownership, storage or transporting of firearms or ammunition, or any component or combination thereof. Except as provided in [certain provisions of state law, discussed below] any such ordinance, resolution or regulation adopted prior to [May 3, 2007] shall be null and void.

Section 75-7c17(a) provides that:

The legislature finds as a matter of public policy and fact that it is necessary to provide statewide uniform standards for issuing licenses to carry concealed handguns for self-defense and finds it necessary to occupy the field of regulation of the bearing of concealed handguns for self-defense to ensure that no honest, law-abiding person who qualifies under the provisions of this act is subjectively or arbitrarily denied the person's rights. No city, county or other political subdivision of this state shall regulate, restrict or prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns by persons licensed under this act except as provided in [certain provisions of state law, discussed below]. Any existing or future law, ordinance, rule, regulation or resolution enacted by any city, county or other political subdivision of this state that regulates, restricts or prohibits the carrying of concealed handguns by persons licensed under this act except as provided in [the provisions discussed below], shall be null and void.

Pursuant to Kansas Statutes Annotated § 12-16,124(b), cities and counties may:

- Regulate the manner of openly carrying a loaded firearm on one's person, or in the immediate control of a person, not licensed to carry a concealed weapon while on property open to the public1);
- Regulate in any manner the carrying of any firearm in any jail, juvenile detention facility, prison, courthouse, courtroom or city hall2 ; and
- Adopt ordinances, resolutions or regulations requiring a firearm transported i n any air, land or water vehicle to be unloaded and encased in a container which completely encloses the firearm, or any less restrictive provision governing the transportation of firearms, provided that such ordinance, resolution or regulation shall not apply to concealed weapons licensees.

Cities, counties, and political subdivisions may also restrict or prohibit concealed weapons licensees and persons exempt from the requirement of a concealed weapons license from carrying a concealed handgun within a building or buildings of such entity, provided that the premises are posted in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the attorney general as premises where carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited.

Prior to the enactment of section 12-16,124, the Supreme Court of Kansas relied on the home rule powers of cities in Kansas under art. XII, § 5 in upholding a local ordinance prohibiting carrying a firearm on the person in public.

The Kansas Legislature has immunized firearm manufacturers and dealers from certain civil suits by local governments. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-4501(a) states:

The authority to bring civil suit and right to recover against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer or federally licensed firearms or ammunition dealer, by or on behalf of the state or any political subdivision of the state, for damages, abatement of nuisance or injunctive relief arising from or relating to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public shall be reserved exclusively to the state.

Section 60-4501(b) provides:

Nothing in this act shall prohibit a political subdivision from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or federally licensed firearms or ammunition dealer for breach of contract, for breach of implied or express warranty or for damages caused to the employees or agents of such political subdivision by defects in firearms or ammunition purchased or used by such political subdivision.

In 2008, Kansas enacted a law prohibiting any officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision thereof, member of the Kansas national guard in the service of the state, or any person operating pursuant to or under color of state law, receiving state funds, under control of any official of the state or political subdivision thereof, or providing services to such officer, employee or other person, from doing the following during a declared official state of emergency:

- Temporarily or permanently seizing, or authorizing seizure of, any firearm the possession of which is not prohibited under state law, other than as evidence in a criminal investigation; or
- Requiring registration of any firearm for which registration is not required by state law.

Section 58-3223 limits the local regulation of sport shooting ranges. Section 58-3223(a) provides that a sport shooting range that is not in violation of state law at the time of the adoption of an ordinance or resolution that regulates the range shall be permitted to continue in operation even if operation of the range at a later date does not conform to the new ordinance or resolution or amendment to an existing ordinance or resolution. In addition, a sport shooting range in existence on the effective date of section 58-3223 (July 1, 2001) in compliance with generally accepted operation practices, even if not in compliance with an ordinance or resolution of a local unit of government, shall be permitted to do the following within its preexisting geographic boundaries:

- Repair, remodel or reinforce any improvement or facilities or building or structure as may be necessary in the interest of public safety or to secure the continued use of the building or improvement;
- Reconstruct, repair, rebuild or resume the use of a facility or building damaged by fire, collapse, explosion, act of God or act of war occurring after the effective date of the act. The reconstruction, repair or restoration shall be completed within one year following the date of the damage or settlement of any property damage claim. If reconstruction, repair or restoration is not completed within one year, such reconstruction, repair or restoration may be terminated in the discretion of the local unit of government; or
- Do anything authorized under generally accepted operation practices, including, but not limited to:

(1) expanding or enhancing its membership or opportunities for public participation; and
(2) reasonably expanding or increasing facilities or activities.

Section 58-3223(b)

Section 58-3224 states that sections 58-3221 - 58-3225 (governing sport shooting ranges) shall not prevent a local unit of government from regulating the location and construction of a sport shooting range "except as otherwise provided." No governmental entity may take title to property which has a permanently located and improved sport shooting range, by condemnation, eminent domain or similar process when the proposed use of said property would be for shooting-related activities or recreational activities or for private or commercial development. This provision does not limit governmental exercise of eminent domain or easement necessary for infrastructure additions or improvements, such as highways, waterways or utilities…

[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]

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