Kansas campuses move closer to concealed carrying of firearms

State House approves bill that would allow people with permits to bring guns onto college campuses


LAWRENCE, Kan. --

With eight votes in the Kansas House, public college campuses got one step closer on Wednesday to allowing people to carry concealed weapons.

The bill passed on Wednesday would allow anyone with a concealed gun license who is over 21-years-old to bring a weapons to any of the state's public higher education institutions. The only exception would be if the building was deemed to have adequate security measures, such as metal detectors inside.

On the University of Kansas campus, there are signs posted that say no weapons are allowed inside, but there are no metal detectors.

One KU student said Wednesday that he is not strongly opposed to the idea of concealed weapons being allowed on campus.

"Obviously, if they are allowed to go through a process, I wouldn't be opposed to it," said student Adam Buhler. "Potentially it could be someone who could act in quicker time than to wait for authorities to get here."

KCTV5 has obtained a letter written by the president of the Kansas Board of Regents. In the letter he wrote, "It is our firm belief that allowing weapons on campus would significantly increase the risk of violence and harm to students, faculty and others rather than making anyone safer."

The University of Kansas issued the following statement regarding the bill:

"The concealed carry bill as passed would undermine campus safety and security efforts now in place. In fact the number of reported crimes on campus, overwhelmingly nonviolent, is down 34 percent in the last decade, thanks largely to increased police patrol, camera surveillance and educational efforts to encourage students and staff to take precautions to avoid being a victim of crime.

"Allowing weapons on campus would significantly increase the risk of violence and harm to students, faculty and others rather than making anyone safer.

"To keep weapons off campus, the university would have to install metal detectors at virtually every building entrance. Such security methods would be cost prohibitive and would not absolutely guarantee safety."

The bill now goes to the Kansas Senate for a vote.

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