Topeka — Gov. Sam Brownback's administration announced Friday that people licensed to carry a concealed gun can bring those weapons into state office buildings that are not exempted by a new law that takes effect Monday.
"The Kansas Legislature clearly indicated the belief that properly licensed individuals should be allowed to exercise their right to carry concealed firearms in most public buildings," said Kansas Interim Secretary of Administration Mark McGivern.
Under the law approved during the recent legislative session, concealed carry is permitted in public buildings unless the buildings have guards and security machines to screen for weapons.
The state could have exempted its buildings for six months but chose not to, McGivern said.
The law defines a state or municipal building as “a building owned or leased by such public entity.” The Department of Administration said the definition of a building leased by the state includes free standing buildings in which the state is the sole tenant.
Chuck Knapp, a spokesman for the Administration Department, said that means that the Kansas Department for Children and Families office in Lawrence, will allow concealed carry for those who have a license to carry.
The Administration agency is seeking clarification from the Attorney General on how the law affects leased premises within a building where the state is not the sole tenant. For those buildings, administration has exercised a six-month exemption.
State correctional facilities, courtrooms and law enforcement agencies are generally exempt from the new law. Certain state health care facilities and post-secondary educational facilities may notify the Attorney General of six month and four-year exemptions to the law. The Kansas Board of Regents has taken the six-month waiver on behalf of the universities, including Kansas University.
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and the Kansas Commission on Veterans’ Affairs have exercised six month extensions for their health care facilities throughout the state.