Although the Constitution guarantees a right to bear arms, the right is not unlimited. Kansas has multiple laws regulating and limiting a person’s right to possess, carry, and use firearms.
When you face charges related to one of the state’s gun statutes, do not try to handle the matter by yourself. A local criminal defense attorney could help you avoid the severe consequences of a criminal record.
A Lawrence gun lawyer could vigorously defend the charges against you and advocate for your right to own and bear arms. Reach out as soon as you realize you face prosecution on gun charges.
Legal Limitations on Possessing Firearms
Kansas Statutes § 21-6301 makes it illegal to possess firearms in specific circumstances. Some people may not possess guns at all, including people convicted of a domestic violence offense within the past five years, some felons, or people with substance abuse issues or who have been adjudicated mentally ill. It is also illegal to sell or provide a gun to someone who cannot legally possess one.
No one under 18 years of age may possess a gun with a barrel length of less than 12 inches unless they are:
- On a shooting range
- Hunting with a permit
- Taking a firearms safety course
- On their own property with permission from their parent or guardian
Anyone subject to a restraining order barring them from stalking or threatening an intimate partner or child may not possess a gun. In addition, it is illegal for undocumented aliens to possess a gun.
The laws regarding gun possession are complex, and understanding all the exceptions can be challenging. Anyone facing charges related to an alleged violation of the state’s gun possession laws should contact a well-practiced Lawrence gun attorney immediately.
Illegal Use of a Firearm
Kansas’ relatively liberal gun laws allow someone 18 years old and legally entitled to possess a weapon to carry a firearm openly and someone 21 years old to carry it concealed without a permit. However, someone under 21 can only carry a concealed weapon on their property or in their home or place of business unless they:
- Have a permit
- Come within another of the law’s exceptions, such as being a member of the military on active duty or a law enforcement officer
Using a firearm in a manner that could pose a danger to innocent members of the public is illegal. For example, a person could face charges of criminal use of a weapon for discharging a gun within city limits or toward an occupied vehicle or dwelling. Displaying a weapon in a threatening manner could also lead to criminal charges.
Possessing, selling, or using a device meant to suppress the sound of a weapon is illegal. So is having a stolen gun, an automatic weapon, or plastic-coated bullets. Like all the gun laws in the state, many exceptions apply, and an experienced gun lawyer in Lawrence could identify an exception that might alleviate criminal liability in a specific case.
Penalties for Gun Law Violations
Many gun offenses are either misdemeanors or non-person felonies, which is the least serious class of felony. Misdemeanors are classified by letter and felonies by number. A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor charge, and a level 1 felony is the most serious felony charge.
Violating the prohibition against carrying a weapon without authorization on school grounds is a Class B misdemeanor, which could lead to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. If a felon illegally possesses a firearm, the offense is a non-person level 8 felony that could lead to up to 23 months in prison and a significant fine.
Defenses to gun charges often involve finding an exception to the law that mitigates or eliminates criminal responsibility. A proactive attorney could also question whether law enforcement officers followed proper procedures when they stopped, searched, or arrested an accused. A plea bargain or diversion program might achieve a favorable resolution when a prosecutor has a solid case, and the accused’s civil rights were not violated.
Contact a Lawrence Gun Attorney to Defend a Firearms Charge
If you face gun charges, contact a local defense attorney immediately. A conviction could lead to a criminal record and even endanger your right to possess firearms.
A Lawrence gun lawyer will aggressively defend the charges and advocate for your right to bear arms. Call today to discuss your situation with a seasoned legal professional.