A bill in the Kansas House would require public buildings to be open to people legally carrying concealed weapons, unless the building has adequate security measures.
Under current law, concealed weapons can be barred from public buildings by posting a sign at the door.
Sen. Forrest Knox, an Altoona Republican, spoke in favor of the bill during a committee hearing Monday. He says Kansans with concealed weapons permits should be allowed to carry guns inside public buildings unless the building has enough security to ensure safety.
“Why should they be allowed to keep a person who is licensed to carry concealed form providing for his own protection, when they make no provision for his protection? That’s the basic question of this bill,” says Knox.
The bill would include both state and local government buildings. Some local governments have raised concerns about the costs that would be associated with providing security.
Leslee Rivarola is with the city of Lenexa. She says decisions regarding concealed weapons and building security should be left up to the local governments.
“If we choose to post our facilities as not allowing concealed carry, we really would like the opportunity to choose how we want to regulate that,” she says.
The bill includes a four-year exception for universities and colleges. Under that provision, university officials could still choose to bar concealed guns on campus.