Earlier this year the Kansas Legislature removed the ability for Prairie Village to regulate firearms the way it would like, but the city council this week made some tweaks to add minor regulations where it could.
Prairie Village won’t allow the discharge of a firearm to take wildlife or to defend against an animal attack. Discharge of a firearm is still allowed “in the lawful defense of one’s person, another person or one’s property.” Prairie Village won’t allow shooting of blanks except for ceremonial purposes and then only on the approval of the police chief. “How do we know the difference between a blank and a real round,” Chief Wes Jordan asked in explaining the exception. And the city will require that any public or private shooting ranges must be licensed. Jordan also fielded questions about discharge pellet guns and BB guns in Prairie Village: not allowed.
The question before the council was the adoption of the Uniform Public Offense Code, an annual event in which the city adopts a list of regulations and offenses that can be prosecuted in municipal court. The League of Kansas Municipalities supplies the list, which conforms to the latest state law. Each year Prairie Village makes some changes. But this year, the city cannot retain its ban on open carry and the regulation of certain knives, thanks to HB 2578 which became law July 1.
The council did make its few changes in the sections on unlawful discharge of firearms. The new code does allow for a person to be charged with carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, unless they are on their own property.
The council had already repealed its open carry ban in June to conform with the new state law. City attorney Katie Logan said, “essentially what the legislature did is to remove home rule on regulating firearms (with exceptions). The city can no longer prevent open or concealed carry on public property with the exception of the city building. It can prohibit open carry by employees in the work place, including city vehicles, but cannot prohibit concealed carry by employees in their personal cars.
Several councilors voted against the repeal of open carry in June. Monday, Jori Nelson voted against the uniform code adoption, citing her same objections to the repeal of open carry.