Thursday, May 16, 2013

Higher education officials say concealed carry on campus probably inevitable in the future

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

The Kansas Board of Regents is expected to adopt a temporary resolution to keep in place the current no-weapons policy at the state universities, including Kansas University.

But having guns on campuses in some form in the future is probably inevitable, according to Regents Vice Chairman Fred Logan Jr.

The move comes in response to a measure signed into law last month by Gov. Sam Brownback that authorizes concealed carry licensees to carry a concealed handgun into any state or municipal building except those that have "adequate security measures," such as metal detectors.

But university and municipal buildings can be exempted from the provision for up to four years.

Leaders at KU and other regents universities have said they don't want concealed carry on campuses.

The resolution, which will be considered by the full board on Thursday, would provide a temporary exemption from the new law.

The regents plan to conduct a hearing in September on the issue and study the implications of permitting people to carry concealed handguns and the costs of acquiring the security measures necessary to bar handguns.

"The exemption goes away in four years," Logan said. "What we have here is a delayed implementation date."

He said the regents will probably ask universities to look at each building to determine whether concealed carry should be allowed.

Logan said the board needs to "take a very analytical approach" about concealed carry. "We need to be respectful of those who voted in favor of legislation. There were a lot of legislators who felt this was the appropriate way to go," he said.

The bill was approved in the House 104-16 and the Senate, 31-7.

Higher education officials have said the expense of setting up metal detectors at all doors at the schools would be astronomical.

Regents Chairman Tim Emert said, "That's the advantage they have at the Capitol. They can route everybody to one entrance and we can't."