The Kansas Office of the Attorney General announced on July 17 it received 12,408 applications for concealed-carry permits in the past 12 months, marking a 24-percent increase over the number of applications received in 2011. The concealed-carry program was created by the 2006 passage of the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act.
In 2007, the first year permits were issued, around 9,300 Kansans applied. The following year, the number of applications decreased to around 5,400. The years 2009 and 2010 remained around 7,000 each, but then 2011 exceeded 9,400 applications, with 2012 spiking to more than 12,400.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt said this week his office received an average of 49 permit applications every working day of the past year. The 12,408 fiscal-year total includes only first-time CCW applications, not those for renewal of expiring permits.
"Our Concealed Carry Licensing Unit works diligently to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand for this service," Schmidt said. "We're dedicated to ensuring the law is carried out as the Legislature intended it."
In total, more than 44,000 valid Kansas permits are currently possessed by citizens. Through reciprocity agreements negotiated by the attorney general's office, Kansas-issued permits are honored by 29 other states. Presently, Kansas honors permits issued by 23 other states.
The concealed-carry licensing program was enacted by the Kansas Legislature in 2006, over the veto of then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D). By law, the program is administered by Attorney General Schmidt's office.
"I think that word has gotten out; people have become more educated about the necessity to take responsibility for their own personal security," Kansas State Rifle Association president Patricia Stoneking told the Wichita Eagle this week.