guns

Kansas News Service

Unless the Legislature makes a change, community mental health centers across Kansas will have to allow patients and staff to bring their guns starting in July.

A 2013 state law requires most publicly owned buildings to allow concealed weapons or to install metal detectors and post armed guards. The law included a four-year exemption for community mental health centers, universities, publicly owned medical facilities, nursing homes and low-income health clinics that ends July 1.

Kansas News Service

The leader of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services wants the state’s two psychiatric hospitals to be exempt from a concealed carry law set to take effect in July.

KDADS Secretary Tim Keck told a legislative committee this week that the department is seeking authorization to continue banning concealed guns in Osawatomie and Larned state hospitals. The two hospitals treat people with mental health conditions who are considered a danger to themselves or others.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas public colleges will have to allow firearms on their campuses starting in July. But they’re still battling with the gun lobby over how people should be allowed to carry their guns.

In preparation for the law mandating concealed carry on campuses, the colleges have proposed some restrictions. For example, people carrying a semi-automatic weapon on campuses would not be allowed to keep a round in the chamber.

lesslethal.com

The Wichita Police Department is training officers on the use of less-lethal weapons in certain situations.

The ALSTAC-40 weapon system recently purchased by the department shoots a foam or sponge-like round, rather than a bullet. The WPD currently has four of the 40-millimeter launchers, with four additional units on backorder.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said during a briefing Wednesday that the foam rounds have been in the testing stage at the department for about a year. He said 60 supervisors within the WPD are trained to use the weapons.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

The fight is raging on in Topeka over whether to roll back a law that would let almost anyone carry a concealed gun on a college campus or in a library or public hospital.

The debate has mostly been around whether guns enhance or detract from people’s safety.

Less talked about is just how much allowing guns on campuses could cost.

For one Kansas City area institution, it could run into the millions.

Most Kansas Board of Regents institutions have said they have little choice but to let people carry concealed weapons on university or community college campuses.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow public hospitals, mental facilities and nursing homes to ban concealed weapons.

Tuesday, a committee debated whether the state should allow the University of Kansas Health System to continue banning concealed guns in its facilities. Republican Representative John Barker proposed expanding that exemption to include other health care facilities.

“I think this is a reasonable approach, a balancing act. Rights are given to us," Barker says, "but we’ve always had some control."

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Students and staff against a law allowing guns on college campuses held a demonstration on the Wichita State University campus Tuesday.

A small group gathered near the Rhatigan Student Center to speak out against guns on campus. The rally was called "Carry Minds, Not Guns."

Organizers spoke of the need to contact lawmakers, emphasizing that there is power in numbers. Freshman Ian Englebright says he thinks legislators in favor of the law are creating more problems than solutions.

Michael Saechange / flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge in Wichita considered a Kansas gun law when he sentenced two men for federal firearms violations Monday. As a result, the men won’t be headed to prison.

Shane Cox and Jeremy Kettler, both of Chanute, were convicted in November on charges under the National Firearms Act, which makes it a crime for convicted felons to own or possess a firearm.

Cox and Kettler fell into that category, but they mistakenly thought a Kansas law would shield them from federal prosecution.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Officials from the University of Kansas Health System are asking state lawmakers to let them continue banning guns. State law will require the hospital to either allow concealed guns later this year or install more security, including metal detectors and security staff.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Opponents of allowing guns on Kansas campuses are not giving up their fight, despite a setback in a state Senate committee this week.

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