Topeka A legislative committee approved a bill Wednesday that would allow concealed carry of handguns on college campuses and public buildings.
House Bill 2353 is now headed to the full House for consideration with a recommendation for approval from the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.
State Rep. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, said the measure would increase safety.
“As concealed carry has been adopted in state after state, experience across the nation has made clear that concealed carry not only benefits the individual, it benefits the society as a whole,” Knox said. “Crime decreases.”
Under Knox’s bill, people 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 electronic screening equipment and guards, to ensure that no weapons could be brought in.
But representatives of colleges, cities and counties and other groups have decried the legislation, saying it would be cost prohibitive to have security systems at all entrances.
That means concealed carry would have to be allowed, they said.
Andy Tompkins, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents, said allowing weapons on campus would increase the risk of violence.
Having more firearms on campus would complicate the job of campus police departments, he said.