Police Chief Ron Miller

Topeka to allow firearms transport in vehicles

by Tim Hrenchir, THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL  |  published on December 8, 2012

Topeka’s governing body on Tuesday evening legalized the transport of loaded handguns in vehicles.

Police Chief Ron Miller said the move was part of a trade-off in which the governing body will be asked soon to make it illegal to possess a firearm while committing any of more than a dozen specific misdemeanors.

The governing body, which consists of the nine council members and Mayor Bill Bunten, voted 10-0 to approve an ordinance adopting a revised version of the 2012 Uniform Public Offense Code, a codification of Kansas statutes developed by the League of Kansas Municipalities.

The city has been operating under the 2011 UPOC, which includes a ban on the transport of loaded handguns in occupied vehicles, but that ban isn’t part of the 2012 UPOC.

Miller told the governing body transporting loaded handguns in occupied vehicles is legal in probably 90 percent of Kansas, including unincorporated parts of Shawnee County, but not in some large population centers.

He said he partnered with local Second Amendment advocates to try to find a workable arrangement targeted at allowing good people to carry loaded guns in their vehicles but banning gun possession by those who commit crimes.

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