KS Concealed Carry Permits: A Primer

There’s been a lot of confusion about what concealed carry permits in Kansas actually are, especially because Kansas doesn’t actually require one to be legally allowed to concealed carry due to a law passed in 2015. Because there are some bills up for consideration that would bring permits back for some situations, like HB2042, we think it’s important to know exactly how much, or how little, training is actually required to get that license in Kansas. These permit requirements do not actually guarantee that a person who has completed them knows anything about how to react in a stressful situation with a gun, and they are relatively easy to obtain.

Let’s take a look at the specifics, shall we?

According to the Kansas Attorney General, you can get a Concealed Carry license (CCH) by doing the following:

  1. Pay $132.50 application fee.
  2. Take an 8-hour approved concealed carry training course, which cost an average of $100, at one of these approved training facilities.  OR Get your training course already taken in another state approved by the Attorney General’s office.
  3. Fill out application forms.
  4. Pass the Attorney General’s basic background check.
  5. Pay $16 processing fee.
  6. Get a passport-style photo taken and sent to the Attorney General’s office.
  7. Wait 1-2 weeks.

Essentially, for around $250, 8 hours in a training class and some time spent waiting, you can get a concealed carry license in Kansas.

But what does the training actually include?

Unsurprisingly, the actual course content was a bit hard to track down, but the Kansas Attorney General has posted the official concealed carry  instructor guide online. It’s an 82-page document filled with everything instructors need to teach the class, so we’ve summarized the required sections for completing the training here. Check the instructor guide for more details.

Minimum Requirements to Complete Training

  1. Introduction to course and rules for course conduct (15 minutes)
  2. Basic Introduction to Handguns, Safe handling and storage (minimum 1 hour)
  3. Legal Issues Relating to the Use of Deadly Force (mandatory 2 hour minimum, but should take longer) -All students will be given a copy of the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act. Legal issues that could stem from a firearm (like armed conflict issues, brandishing, municipal laws vs state laws, criminal consequences for various behaviors, etc.) are discussed.
  4. Use of Deadly Force: Preparedness for Confrontations (minimum 1.5 hours) – Includes modes of awareness (color-coded awareness levels based on perceived danger), visualization techniques (forming action plans for what-if scenarios), appropriate levels of defensive force (what’s legally necessary for using your gun to be considered acceptable), if deadly force has been used (what to do if you’ve shot someone) and after effects (psychological effects of having shot or killed someone).
  5. Firearm Manipulation, Marksmanship and Practice (minimum 1 hour) – It is at the instructor’s discretion whether or not students actually practice firing rounds, but the Attorney General recommends (but does not require) that at least part of the 1 hour minimum be spent at the range. This section includes handgun recognition and manipulationloading and unloadingfiringselecting a firearm for self defenseammunition selectionholsters and carry methods, optional discussion of flashlights, and a recommendation of how much to practice shooting (100 rounds per month)
  6. Written Test (30 minutes) 25-question test that can be repeated as many times as is necessary to pass.
  7. Range Qualification (1.5 hour minimum) 25 rounds on the target approved by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Requirements to pass: 5 rounds at 3 yards, 5 rounds one-handed at 3 yards, 2 sets of 5 rounds at 7 yards, 2 sets of 5 rounds at 10 yards. 18 points total are required to hit the target to pass. There is no time limit to pass this section and it can be repeated indefinitely until the student passes.
  8. Overall Evaluation Instructor decides if student completed all of the minimum requirements and if they are willing to certify that person for a concealed carry license. It is on a pass/fail basis. Nothing prohibits someone from repeating the course.

In summary, it is possible for a person to take an 8-hour course in which they listen to an instructor go over the law and preparedness issues verbally for 6.5 hours, be briefly shown how to load, unload, and fire a handgun (without necessarily even touching it), and only actually shoot a gun for 25 rounds at a gun range if they hit the target 18 times total. 

To renew the license which expires after 4-years, you just need to send a passport photo of yourself and a check for $25 to the Attorney General and pass another background check. You are not required to repeat the training to renew your concealed carry license – even if the law has changed. Some people from out of state are also not required to take the course because they have taken a course in another state, despite the fact that Kansas gun laws differ from other states.

Remember that this training course is not even necessary to be legally allowed to concealed carry in Kansas if you are over 21.   However, some legislators and gun lobbyists think that we should be happy with campus carry if these permits are required to concealed carry on a college or university campus. They consider it a legitimate compromise. However, what can you really retain from an 8 hour crash course on law specifics that doesn’t actually involve substantial use of a firearm? Should we really trust people who have had at minimum 25 rounds of shooting practice to be able to react with their gun in a scary or stressful situation? What about all of the people who got their first license years ago and haven’t kept up with the frequent changes to state law?