Wichita A new Kansas law that bans concealed-carry permit holders from taking guns into buildings where no-gun signs are posted makes it possible for people to take guns inside schools that don’t post the signs, a national gun-control group said.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, in its annual ranking of gun laws across the U.S., gave Kansas and three other states its “Craziest Gun Laws” award. Kansas was given the award because of the law, signed last month by Gov. Sam Brownback.
“We want to prevent the next Tucson, Virginia Tech or Columbine,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign. “It’s too easy now for dangerous people to get guns and to legally carry them in all sorts of public places.”
But state and local officials say the new law only clarifies, but doesn’t change, existing law governing concealed weapons, The Wichita Eagle reported.
“If those (signs) are posted, individuals cannot carry (firearms) into those buildings,” said Chuck Sexson, director of the concealed-carry program for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.
“Most schools around the state have posted their buildings. ... So that hasn’t changed.”
Other states receiving the award were Utah, Florida and Virginia.
Kansas lawmakers passed the state’s concealed-carry law in 2006. The measure put places like schools, bars, churches, libraries and day care centers off-limits for concealed guns. Revisions to the law require those places to put no-gun signs on doors or entrances to outdoor areas, such as football stadiums, before they can be considered off-limits to concealed-carry permit holders.
Local school boards decide whether to post signs on school buildings, Sexson said. He said he doesn’t know if any districts have chosen to allow concealed weapons in school, but added that “it’s possible.”
An attorney for the Wichita School Board said he doesn’t expect the newest provisions in state concealed-carry law to have any impact on the Wichita district.
“The way we read it, they (guns) still aren’t allowed where signs are posted, and we have signs posted,” attorney Tom Powell said.