Schmidt’s office determined in December that a city “may not completely prohibit the open carry of a loaded firearm on one’s person.” That prompted city councils in Wichita and Overland Park to revise their ordinances to allow residents to carry guns openly.
Schmidt issued his opinion on a state law that says, “Nothing … shall prohibit a city or county from regulating the manner of openly carrying a loaded firearm” on public property. Schmidt somehow read that to mean that cities can’t prohibit open carry. The Kansas League of Municipalities, which represents city governments, argues that if a city can regulate open carry, such oversight can include prohibiting it.
The League is right. How Schmidt came to his opinion, which seems almost the complete opposite of the meaning of that language, is a real head-scratcher.
AG opinions are commonly relied on to interpret and clarify state laws. As in this case, they may identify a need for the Legislature to revisit a law to clarify or make language more precise.
But when an AG issues an opinion that appears to be out of the bounds of common sense, it is not surprising that some people will begin to consider such opinions as having little authority. Schmidt should consider looking at this one again – maybe it can be blamed on an underling – and be more conscientious about the significance of future opinions.
— The Hutchinson News