- Associated Press - Saturday, October 10, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A mass shooting at an Oregon college earlier this month has added urgency for Kansas universities that are studying ways to implement a new law that allows most people to carry concealed guns on campus without a permit.

The Personal and Family Protection Act, approved in 2012, overrode local gun ordinances statewide and required that concealed-carry permit holders be allowed to carry their weapons in almost all public buildings, The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/1FTwAfm ) reported. The law went into effect in July 2013, but public universities were given a four-year exemption - July 1, 2017 - to prepare.

The Kansas Board of Regents is studying where and how guns can be controlled without violating the law, board chairman Shane Bangerter said.

Courthouses, city halls and other public buildings can ban guns because they have armed guards and metal detectors at the entries, but that has been determined to be impractical at universities that have hundreds of buildings with several entrances each, Bangerter said.

But the biggest question is what to do about dormitories, he said.



“Obviously, we have thousands of students in the dorms at (the University of Kansas and Kansas State University) and other universities coming and going all the time,” Bangerter said. “Is that enough restricted access? Lawyers, maybe the attorney general, will have to figure that out for us.”

Another major question involves sporting events, where weapons are currently banned at state universities’ stadiums and arenas.

Stadium attendees now go through a light screening process, with inspections mainly focused in purses, bags and bulky coats. That won’t be enough to satisfy the requirements of the Personal and Family Protection Act, which means schools will probably have to funnel fans through fewer entrances equipped with metal detectors, Bangerter said.

Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, said allowing guns on college campuses is a terrible idea that should be repealed in next year’s legislative session.

“I’ve been on TV the last two years saying guns have no place in schools, churches or courthouses,” Ward said. “I don’t know how you could support that (guns on campus) unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years.”

Sen. Michael O’Donnell, a Wichita Republican who voted in favor of gun-friendly colleges, said he might consider supporting some changes to the law at the request of the Board of Regents, but he still thinks it’s a good idea to allow guns on campus.

“I just know responsible gun owners make the public safer,” he said.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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