Gun legislation is on the minds of Kansas legislators, though amendments made by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee make it difficult to understand what exactly lawmakers want to target.

That particular committee last week essentially gutted two clauses in a bill approved by the Kansas House. A provision lowering the age from 21 to 18 for the legal carry of concealed weapons in Kansas was stripped, as was a move allowing universities to exclude unlicensed people with concealed firearms on state campuses. …

First, the move to keep the minimum age to 21 for carrying concealed weapons was wise. The need exists to establish a standard, which incorporates a greater level of maturity among those who consider it necessary to carry a concealed weapon. …

Proponents for the younger age limit cite that 18-year-olds can serve in the military and thus, should have the right to carry a concealed weapon for protection. Yet Rep. John Carmichael, a Wichita Democrat, offered a compelling reason against the age change back when House representatives discussed the bill earlier this month before it was passed and sent to the Senate.

“While these serving military personnel between 18 and 21 and even older typically do not carry weapons on base,″ reasoned Carmichael, “what you advocate is that they be able to carry weapons in our universities and colleges that they can’t carry on base?″

… Retaining the age restriction to 21 greatly limits those in a campus setting who will choose to exercise their right to concealed carry. …

After all the modifications, the most significant change adopted by the Senate committee was to prohibit Kansans from possessing a gun if convicted of domestic abuse or if subject to a protective order by a judge. That reform passed 120-0 in the House and deserves similar support from the Senate, as well as a signature from Gov. Jeff Colyer adopting the measure into law.

Too many have died as the result of homicides stemming from domestic violence. The use of firearms was prominent in those deaths. While the restriction on domestic abusers is only an initial step in gun laws under consideration by the Legislature, it is a worthwhile response.

— GateHouse Kansas