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Schmidt Offers Opinion On Concealed Carry At The Polls

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is offering guidance on how the state's concealed carry law applies to buildings used as polling places on election days.

In an opinion issued Wednesday, 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.

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.

Secretary of State Kris 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.

Schmidt said that a property leased in its entirety by a county for a polling place would be considered a state or municipal building for that day only and would be subject the county's concealed carry policy for the duration of the election.

Attorney general opinions aren't considered law but can be used as guidance until an issue is tested.