Kansas Lays Out Rules for Taking Guns into Election Polls

(AP)–Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued guidance Wednesday on how the state’s concealed carry law applies to buildings used as polling places on election days.

In an opinion issued at the request of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Schmidt said voters with permits to carry concealed firearms must comply with regulations that applied to the specific location before an election. That means if voters are allowed to have a concealed weapon in a building before the election they will be allowed to carry concealed guns when voting.

“The use of real property as a polling place does not transform the nature of that property for the purposes of the (Personal and Family Protection Act),” Schmidt wrote.

Polling sites in Kansas are often found in places where guns are not usually allowed, such as churches, schools, universities and charity organizations. Guns also have been prohibited as a general rule from polling places to prevent voter intimidation or interference with elections.

Kobach requested the opinion, to clarify any ambiguity over how the law applied in non-governmental buildings during elections. Such buildings include property leased temporarily as polling places.

“We expected that the ruling would be very detailed and depend on the circumstances,” Kobach said. “That’s because the concealed carry laws are detailed and depend on the circumstances.”

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