A legislator is re-loading his bill that would allow concealed carry of guns in public buildings, including those at Kansas University.
“If you are not going to provide security, then don’t deny someone that the state has allowed to provide for their own security,” said Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona.
Under Knox’s bill, persons who are licensed to carry a concealed gun would be allowed to bring a weapon into a state or city facility unless the building had adequate security measures, such as electric scanners, to ensure that no weapons could be brought in.
Knox had said he believed the gunman who killed 32 at Virginia Tech University in 2007 would have been stopped more quickly if someone else had been carrying a concealed weapon.
During the 2010 legislative session, Knox’s bill was approved by the Kansas House, 65-57, but it got bogged down in a Senate committee.
When the Legislature convenes in January for the 2011 session, Knox said he will be pushing his bill again.
“Rationality is on my side. I introduced it last year to get people thinking about security,” he said.
Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, whose district includes KU, disagrees with the bill.
“I think we have to give the universities the ability to regulate their own campuses,” Davis said. “This is really micro-management by the Legislature.”
Gary Sherrer, chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, said the regents will oppose the proposal.
“Young people. Dormitories. Guns. Bad combination,” Sherrer said.
“We have looked at this issue and we believe there is a far greater danger by having a major proliferation of weapons on campus than there is by not having them,” he said.
He said regents universities have developed security plans with the assistance of a national consultant, and that consultant never mentioned concealed carry as a way to make campuses safer.