Wild Times: They are out there!

I was talking to a gentleman the other day and the subject turned to the ability to carry a concealed firearm in the state of Kansas. We began the conversation recalling the good, old days when every pickup that was parked along the Main Street of Sabetha had a gun rack in the back window. And in that gun rack were always two to three long guns. The majority of the owners of those pickups never even bothered to lock their vehicles. Those guns were just considered a part of the truck — no different than a pair of windshield wipers!

My, how times have changed. It is no longer politically correct to carry your long guns in a rack in the back window. You don’t see guns in the back windows of our pickups any longer in town, and you sure better not leave your vehicle unlocked any longer because you just might lose it. Yes, even in Sabetha!

You may not see any guns out in the open any longer, but you better believe that a lot of people have them close at hand. Yes, in Kansas we are blessed to have the ability to carry a concealed weapon. I have always heard some numbers thrown around about how many people have concealed carry licenses in our state so I thought I would check it out.

Now you need to remember that a couple of years ago a new law was signed into effect that you are no longer required to have a license to carry a concealed weapon, so these numbers that I share with you will not actually tell you how many people are what we firearm enthusiasts refer to as “carrying.”

The stats that I found on our state’s website for concealed carry were updated last July. In Nemaha County, there are 236 licenses issued, and in Brown County there have been 250 issued. I really thought there would have been more but those are the numbers.

As I looked through the list of counties, I was not surprised to find that the largest number of licenses were located in the more populous counties such as Johnson County with just under 14,000. Sedgwick County had just under 16,000, and there were several counties hovering around 5,000. When it is all totaled up there are just under 85,000 concealed carry licenses in our state. As I dug a little deeper, it was interesting to see how the number of licenses issued varied from year to year.

In 2007, the first year that licenses were issued, there were just over 9,000. It fell to just over 5,000 the next year but bounced back up to over 7,000 the next two years. What I found interesting was that just before Obama was elected to his second term as President the number jumped up to 12,000, but the year he was elected the number exploded to over 25,000! Isn’t that interesting?

In the state of Kansas, a person does not have to have a license to carry long guns such as rifles and shotguns. Up until a couple of years ago, if you wanted to carry a concealed handgun you needed the concealed carry license but that has changed. The state of Kansas is now classified as a “constitutional carry state.” This means that you no longer need the license to carry concealed.

But, if you want to travel from our state to another state then you will need that license. It is not hard to obtain and I would highly recommend that everyone who wants to carry a concealed handgun for their protection take the course and obtain the license. You won’t regret it!

Tim Kellenberger120 Posts

Tim Kellenberger serves as Owner, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief for The Sabetha Herald since 2004. He specializes in sports reporting and column writing, as well as sports photography. Tim is a Grace University graduate with a dual degree in agricultural economics and human resource management. He lives in rural Sabetha with his wife and has four grown children and two grandchildren.


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