More on concealed weapons in public

Another state is inching its way toward allowing concealed weapons on college campuses – and other state and municipal buildings. This time it’s Kansas advancing a new law through its legislature.

The legislation, already passed by the Kansas House of Representatives, would allow adults with a concealed weapons permit to carry a firearm into a publicly-owned facility unless that facility has taken “adequate security measures” to keep out all weapons. Those measures could include electronic technology such as fixed metal detectors and handheld wands.

The League of Kansas Municipalities estimates the cost of metal detectors at between $2,500 and $5,000 per entrance — or up to $50,000 per entrance annually with staff time added. College and university administrators say those costs would be prohibitive on a campus with dozens of entrances.

"Our security leaders here on campus believe that more guns on campus do not advance safety or more learning on campus," Donald Beggs, president of Wichita State University told the Wichita Eagle.

Patrick Fiel, public safety advisor for ADT and a former head of security for Washington, D.C. Public Schools, agrees with the assessment. The goal of any legislator should be keeping guns off campuses and out of state and municipal buildings.

“More guns in public places will create more opportunities for accidents and theft of dangerous weapons,” he said. “And being armed doesn’t mean much when the criminal has the advantage of surprise.”

Armed citizens can never replace police who not only have been fully trained on how and when to use their weapons, but who respond regularly to potentially violent situations, he said.

The Kansas bill still faces a stiff challenge in the state Senate. There will only be 15 days left in the current legislative session when the senators return from recess on April 28.

– PSW staff