Topeka School boards and university administrators would be able to decide if they want employees who have concealed-carry licenses to be able to carry their weapon on the job, under a bill approved Wednesday by a House committee.
The Federal and State Affairs Committee sent House Bill 2055 to the full House for consideration.
Under the measure, Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little could allow licensed concealed-carry holders to carry concealed guns in certain buildings. The same would hold true for the Lawrence school board.
State Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, said he didn't want the decision for universities left up to the Kansas Board of Regents, which opposes concealed-carry in higher education facilities. "It disallows the freedom of any particular university," Brunk said.
The amendment applies only to employees of schools and higher education institutions.
Kansas now prohibits concealed firearms in most government buildings. The bill would let the state, cities, counties and townships ban concealed guns in their buildings only if they had electronic equipment and officers at public entrances to check for weapons.
Aside from the employee policy, public institutions of higher learning would be exempt from the general expansion of concealed-carry rules for four years.
A proposal by state Rep. Emily Perry, D-Mission, would have renewed that exemption after four years, but it was voted down by the committee. Perry also tried to amend the bill to prevent concealed carry of guns in community mental health centers, but that was defeated too.
The committee did approve an amendment that would eliminate the misdemeanor charge against a concealed carry license holder who carried his or her weapon in a prohibited area if the person left the area after being asked by someone in authority.
Supporters of that amendment said it was necessary to remove criminal charges for someone who simply forgot to leave their weapon behind when entering an area where concealed-carry was not allowed.