Kansas House Lawmakers Override Veto of Concealed Weapons Bill

The state House on Thursday overrode Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto of a concealed weapons bill, allowing it to become law this summer.

The vote was 91-33, giving supporters seven votes more than the required two-thirds majority. The Senate voted 30-10 for the override Wednesday night, three votes more than needed.

The new law, taking effect July 1, will permit Kansans who are U.S. citizens to apply for concealed-carry permits at their local sheriffs' offices. Applicants must be 21 and take firearms training, and hidden weapons still will be banned in some places, including schools, churches, libraries and courthouses.

Sen. Phil Journey, a sponsor of the bill, said it was "about making Kansans safer. ... It's about trusting law abiding citizens to make this choice."

In her veto message Tuesday, Sebelius questioned its effectiveness and cited opposition from law enforcement officials and business leaders. However, even some of Sebelius' fellow Democrats voted for the override.

She vetoed a similar bill in 2004, as her predecessor, Republican Bill Graves, did in 1997.

More and more states have allowed residents to carry hidden weapons in recent years; only Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin still have no such law. Except for Vermont and Alaska, the states require a person to obtain a permit before carrying a concealed weapon.

Sebelius became the first Kansas governor to have a veto overridden in 12 years.