On July 1, 2017, Kansas’ long-awaited campus carry law goes into effect.
The campus carry bill was passed and signed in 2013, but gave colleges and universities four years to decide what areas—if any—they would declare gun-free, and to put sufficient security in those areas.
The Kansas law is structured so that schools that do declare certain buildings gun-free must take upon themselves the responsibility of keeping students in those buildings safe. This means the installation of metal detectors at entrances and the use of armed guards.
KWCH reports that Wichita State University is preparing for campus carry via a designated website giving students information on the parameters for carry, the acceptable methods of carry, and buildings and/or events that could be “temporarily” labeled gun-free.
The site informs students:
- In order to have a concealed weapon on a college campus, a person must by 21 years or older and the weapon should be concealed on or about the person at all times.
- Concealed carry is allowed in all university buildings except beyond the police department’s lobby unless adequate security measures are put in place.
- WSU may designate a specific location as temporarily gun-free, such as athletics or commencement events where attendance is more than 5,000.
- Each person who lawfully possesses a handgun on campus is responsible for carrying, storing and using that handgun in a safe manner. The concealed weapon may not be carried where the university provides adequate security measures.
In the four years since campus carry was originally passed Kansas Democrats have worked unsuccessfully to derail the law, although they did get some help from Republicans. On June 2, 2017, Breitbart News reported that numerous GOP Senators voted to exempt public mental health and hospital facilities from the campus carry law. Senators such as Jim Denning (R-Overland Park) made clear he did not mind breaking with the NRA to create gun-free zones in hospitals and the Kansas Topeka-Journal reported that Sen. Vicki Schmidt (R-Topeka) was determined in her opposition to NRA compromise language as well.
Fortunately, campus carry endured assaults from the left and the right, and will take effect July 1.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.