TOPEKA — The Kansas attorney general's office in the last fiscal year received the fewest applications for concealed firearm licenses since the program was authorized in 2006, officials said Wednesday.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt's office handled 4,896 new applications from people requesting the opportunity to carry a concealed handgun in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That is down from 5,119 in the previous fiscal year and the high of 25,361 in fiscal 2013.
Applications fell sharply in 2015, when the Legislature and then-Gov. Sam Brownback approved a measure eliminating a requirement that Kansans secure a permit to carry concealed. Under the so-called "constitutional" carry law, the mandate for training and experience firing a weapon were no longer required in Kansas.
After 14,221 Kansans applied for a permit in fiscal 2014, the pace of requests dropped to 9,804 in fiscal 2015 and 5,874 in fiscal 2016.
Schmidt said in a statement that he encouraged people who wanted to carry concealed weapons to pursue training opportunities for safe use of weapons. About 85,000 Kansas residents hold active licenses.
"Many Kansans continue to recognize the benefits of obtaining a license, including our reciprocity agreements with other states,” Schmidt said. "We continue to work with other states to ensure Kansas licenses are recognized."
Kansans who want to carry concealed in 40 other states continue to purchase state licenses. In the last fiscal year, Schmidt's staff received 16,000 renewal applications.
In the current fiscal year, which started July 1, the application fee for a Kansas concealed-carry license was lowered to $112 from $132.50. Renewals cost $25.
More information on the concealed carry licensing program is available on the attorney general’s website.