As July began, Kansas lowered the costs of a state concealed carry license. Those wishing to purchase a license will now pay $112, instead of the $132.50 they had to fork over earlier.

This was a good move by the Kansas Legislature, and an offer that responsible gun owners in the state should consider.

Let’s remember that Kansas is a “constitutional carry” state, where anyone 21 and older can carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Whatever one’s feelings about this law, it certainly suggests that some people carrying around concealed weapons are doing so without registering or receiving any firearms education.

… According to the state attorney general’s office, applicants “must complete an eight-hour weapons safety and training course and obtain a certificate of completion from a certified trainer,” as well as submitting an application with a photo, as well as being fingerprinted by the county sheriff.

All of these are eminently sensible requirements for someone who wants to take the responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon. …

The Second Amendment can be a tricky thing. If one assumes it allows the carrying of firearms by individuals for self defense (the Supreme Court first interpreted the Constitution as saying so in District of Columbia v. Heller, a 5-4 ruling from 2008), then one also must accept the gravity of carrying a lethal weapon.

Too often, the accumulation of firearms is treated like a social statement, a rebellion against our government or easy way to inflame liberal agita on social media. But unlike crimson Make America Great Again hats, Trump-Pence bumper stickers or Confederate flags, guns kill.

Treated carelessly, left unsecured around the house or forgotten about, firearms too often exact a deadly toll from those not willing to reckon with their raw, destructive power. …

Indeed, that power is perhaps a reason the right to bear arms is protected in the Constitution in the first place.

With July 4 recently observed, perhaps now is the perfect time to urge Kansas gun owners, one and all, to apply for a concealed carry. Get educated about your weapons. Make sure law enforcement knows who you are — especially valuable if your weapon is stolen and used by someone else.

Be responsible with the precious freedoms we’ve all been granted.

— GateHouse Kansas