Prairie Village set to consider repealing open carry ban

Openly carrying firearms in public spaces like parks will be legal in Prairie Village when HB
Openly carrying firearms in public spaces like parks will be legal in Prairie Village when HB 2578 goes into effect July 1.

Nearly two months after Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a state bill that strips cities of the right to regulate the openly carrying of firearms within their limits, Prairie Village appears poised to repeal the open carry ban that prompted a lawsuit from the Kansas Libertarian Party in December 2012.

City attorney Katie Logan has prepared a memo for the council ahead of its meeting tonight recommending that the city repeal several sections of the city’s municipal code that would be unenforceable when the state bill, HB 2578, goes into effect July 1.

In the memo, Logan says the recommendation comes as a way to stem the gap between the effective date of the state bill and the release of an updated version of the Kansas League of Municipalities’ Uniform Public Offense Code, a set of standard language that many cities adopt to define the public offenses that can be prosecuted in their municipal courts. The current version of the UPOC adopted by Prairie Village has a number of provisions regulating knives and firearms that would be impermissible under HB 2578.

The full memo outlining the specific provisions that the city would have to repeal in order to comply with HB 2578 — including ordinances that make possession of knives or carrying knives on public property a criminal offense — is embedded below. The council is scheduled to consider Logan’s recommendation at its meeting tonight.

In May, Grant Nelson, the Prairie Village resident who is the plaintiff in the Libertarian Party-backed second lawsuit against the city for its open carry ban, said his suit would remain open until “the city council openly and officially rescinds the open carry ordinance.” Prairie Village has spent more than $30,000 in legal fees associated with the open carry ban lawsuits.