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On Friday, House Bill 2058 was vetoed by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. The bill would have allowed Kansans as young as 18 years old to carry concealed firearms. 

Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a bill that would have lowered the concealed carry of a firearm age to 18 in Kansas with a provisional license on Friday. 

Proponents of the bill argued that since 18-year-olds are already legally able open carry under Kansas constitutional carry laws, this bill motivate more young people who want to carry guns to go through training. Under the law, they would have to complete an eight-hour training course to receive their provisional license to conceal carry a firearm. 

Opponents, however, criticized House Bill 2058 for allowing young people to carry concealed weapons, since 18 to 20-year-olds make up the large majority of students on college campuses. 

“Throughout my time in public office, I have been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and of Kansans’ right to own firearms,” Kelly said in a news release. “But we can respect and defend the rights of Kansas gun owners while also taking effective steps to keep our children and families safe.” 

The bill would have also allowed people from other states to carry guns in Kansas, provided their state recognized Kansas gun licenses. 

“Governor Kelly protected all of us by rejecting this ridiculous bill,” said Sophia Steffensmeier, Moms Demand Action volunteer, in a news release. “I feel safer today in our state knowing that we have a governor who is offering young Kansans more than thoughts and prayers, she's taking proactive steps to fight for gun safety.” 

The bill would have also restored the right to possess firearms after a criminal record is expunged. This would allow some offenders who were previously prohibited from owning firearms, after their conviction, to own firearms again. 

“Gun violence is an epidemic in Kansas and across the country, and we need meaningful action to address the gun violence in our state - not bills that make it easier to carry hidden, loaded guns in public,” Tonya Boyd, a member of the Kansas chapter of Moms Demand Action, said in a MDA press release

In her veto, Kelly addressed concerns that the bill would allow young college students to conceal carry firearms. 

“Legislation that allows more guns on campus is neither safe nor effective, and it will drive prospective students away from our schools,” Kelly said. 

Despite Kelly’s concerns, Republicans were unhappy with the veto. 

“She vetoed 2nd Amendment rights and offering proven gun safety programs in our schools,” Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson, a Republican from Andover, said in his statement

The National Rifle Institute for Legislative Action published an article calling for Kansans to take action against the veto. 

“It is imperative that you contact your lawmakers and ask them to OVERRIDE Governor Laura Kelly’s Veto of House Bill 2058 and House Bill 2089,” the article said. 

HB 2058 lowers the concealed carry of firearms age to 18, while HB 2089 was intended to create curriculum guidelines for a standardized firearm safety program for Kansas students starting in kindergarten and going through grade 12. 

The bill will now return to the Legislature, which may attempt to override the veto.