TOPEKA (KSNT) – Photos of a man walking down Gage Boulevard with a pistol in his hand have been circulating social media sites, but is it legal?
Topeka Resident Brooklynn Sassaman was across from the Veterans Affairs Hospital with her kids when she said she saw a man holding a pistol with his finger on the trigger.
“I honestly was very scared for our safety and thought I was going to be a part of some type of mass shooting,” Sassaman said. “The girl in the car next to me even rolled her window down at the next light and asked if I was seeing the same thing! We both were shocked and called 911!”
Some states outlaw “brandishing” which means displaying a firearm or otherwise making the presence of the firearm known to another person in order to intimidate. Penalties for brandishing a weapon vary from state to state, according to US Law Shield. Kansas does not have any brandishing laws.
City of Topeka Spokesperson Rosie Nichols said the City of Topeka follows state statute which doesn’t limit the open carrying of firearms. There are exceptions for individuals who use weapons to commit crimes, individuals who are legally prohibited from owning or possessing firearms and people who violate Topeka Municipal Code 9.40.020.
Topeka Municipal Code 9.40.020 covers “replica” or “imitation firearms” as defined in K.S.A. 12-16,115. Replica firearms must be similar in physical properties to lead a person to conclude the replica is a true firearm. It is unlawful to brandish, draw or exhibit a replica in a rude, insolent, threatening or angry manner with the intent to frighten, vex, harass or annoy another person, according to Topeka Municipal Code.
Nichols said an example of a violation would be an individual who points a firearm at another individual. Additionally, according to KSA 12-16,124, cities or counties are prohibited from creating and enforcing any ordinances relating to the regulation of firearms and ammunition that are stricter than state law.
No city or county shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or regulation, and no agent of any city or county shall take any administrative action, governing the requirement of fees, licenses or permits for, the commerce in or the sale, purchase, transfer, ownership, storage, carrying, transporting or taxation of firearms or ammunition, or any component or combination thereof.KSA 12-16,124