Members of the Kansas House could debate the issue of guns on college campuses Tuesday. A top lawmaker has made a procedural motion that could bring a piece of gun legislation up for consideration. That would open the door to potential changes to other firearms laws.
The bill at issue deals with recognizing out-of-state concealed carry licenses in Kansas. However, the top Democrat in the House, Jim Ward, says the real reason for bringing it up is to consider changes to a state law that will allow guns on university campuses and in public hospitals.
“This is mostly about the amendments that could come on. We need to have a debate about gun safety and the appropriateness of guns in certain venues,” says Ward.
A state law says most public facilities must allow concealed weapons unless there’s enough security in place to make sure no one can bring guns into the building. Universities, public hospitals and some other facilities have had a temporary exemption that expires this summer.
Critics of the policy say some places, like universities and public hospitals, shouldn't allow guns. They say it will either be unfeasible or very expensive to provide security at large institutions so guns can continue to be barred.
Supporters of the current law say people have constitutional rights to carry guns and defend themselves. They say those rights should extend to places like college campuses and public hospitals, unless there's security in place.