Kansas is committed to protecting citizens’ rights to bear arms and welcomes gun enthusiasts wholeheartedly. Nonetheless, state laws impose some limits on gun use and possession. A responsible gun owner could inadvertently break the law and face gun charges.
If you were charged with a weapons offense, do not try to handle the situation without advice from a seasoned criminal defense attorney. A Hays gun lawyer could vigorously defend your right to own and use your weapons responsibly.
Few Limitations on Gun Ownership and Possession
Kansas law is relatively lax when it comes to gun ownership, but this does not mean there are no restrictions, as a Hays attorney could explain. There is no age limit for gun possession. Still, persons under 18 may not carry a firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches long unless they have their parent’s permission and are on their property, taking a safety course, hunting with a valid permit, or on a shooting range. Anyone 21 or older can openly carry a firearm without a permit.
No background check is required to purchase a gun in Kansas, and there is no limit to the number of firearms a person may own. The law prohibits gun possession for substance abusers, people confined to a mental institution, convicted felons, and undocumented immigrants. Possessing some types of guns and ammunition is illegal, including automatic weapons, shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches, silencers, and plastic-coated bullets.
It is legal to openly carry a weapon in most places in the state and for anyone over 21 to carry a concealed weapon, with some exceptions. A person may not carry a concealed weapon in public libraries, racetracks, the Governor’s Residence, jails, prisons, state courthouses, and places of worship. People may not carry a concealed weapon on school grounds, although a staff member may possess a concealed weapon on campus with the school’s permission.
Examples of Gun Crimes
Although the state is generally gun-friendly, Kansas Statutes § 21-6301 limits gun possession. A firearm attorney in Hays represents a person accused of violating the state’s gun laws, including the following:
- Possession of a stolen gun
- Possession of a handgun by a minor
- Unlawful discharge of a weapon
- Possession of a firearm by a felon
- Possession of an illegal automatic weapon
- Possession of a weapon in a school zone
- Brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner
Violating the state’s gun laws could be a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. Possessing an automatic weapon is a Level 9 non-person felony. The potential penalty for a first offense is up to 17 months in prison.
Carrying a weapon in a K-12 school is a Class B non-person misdemeanor, and the sentence is up to one year of prison. Probation instead of serving time is possible in either case.
Defenses to Gun Crimes
Every crime is different, which is why Hays gun attorneys tailor each defense to the specifics of a case. Skilled legal professionals could craft a defense that leads to the most favorable outcome the circumstances permit.
People may use weapons to defend themselves if they reasonably believe their safety is in danger. Self-defense is often an effective counter to a charge of unlawful discharge or brandishing a weapon.
A judge could dismiss charges or suppress evidence if police violated an accused’s civil rights by engaging in unlawful surveillance, making a traffic stop without reasonable grounds, or conducting an illegal search.
Contact a Hays Attorney if You Face Gun Charges
The U.S. Constitution guarantees your right to bear arms. If you have been arrested on a gun charge, do not attempt to navigate the legal system without professional legal representation. Contact a Hays gun lawyer at Addair Law today.