Archive for Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bill to exempt KU hospital, other public health facilities, from gun law fails in House committee

The University of Kansas Hospital's main entrance in Kansas City, Kan. is pictured July 12, 2011.

The University of Kansas Hospital's main entrance in Kansas City, Kan. is pictured July 12, 2011.

February 15, 2017


— A Kansas House committee voted by the narrowest of margins Wednesday not to advance a bill that would have exempted the University of Kansas hospital complex in Kansas City, Kan., or any other public health care facility, from an upcoming requirement to allow people to carry concealed firearms in those buildings.

The bill failed to advance when the committee split evenly, 11-11, on a motion to send it to the full House. Committee chairmen typically do not vote on such motions unless they are needed to break a tie, but in this case, Chairman John Barker, R-Abilene, declined to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Barker had sponsored an amendment that would have expanded the exemption to include all publicly owned hospitals, nursing homes and mental health centers in Kansas. Debate on that amendment began Tuesday and carried over into Wednesday, but it eventually failed on an unrecorded voice vote.

Some members of the committee who voted no said they had been deluged by emails from gun rights advocates overnight urging them to reject that amendment.

Other amendments to extend the right to carry concealed weapons — in public or subsidized rental housing and into public facilities financed by STAR bonds — also failed on close votes.

Wednesday's vote in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee deals a severe setback to efforts to roll back the concealed-carry mandate that is scheduled to take effect July 1.

Earlier in the session, a Senate committee voted not to advance a bill that would have extended indefinitely the exemption for college and university campuses as well as all other public buildings owned by local governments.

A similar bill is still pending in the House committee, but even supporters of that bill concede it does not have enough votes to advance. It was believed that the narrower bill dealing only with the KU hospital complex stood a better chance.

The KU hospital is operated by a quasi-public entity, the KU Hospital Authority. The hospital itself is not publicly funded, but it occupies the same space as the KU Medical Center, the university's medical school, which is publicly funded.

Hospital officials had pleaded for the exemption, saying that without it KU would be the only hospital in the Kansas City metropolitan region where concealed weapons would be allowed. They argued concealed weapons would not only put patients and staff at risk, but would also put the hospital at a competitive disadvantage in the market.

Gun rights advocates, however, argued that despite the presence of a campus police force, there is not enough security on the sprawling complex to protect patients and staff from others who might bring weapons onto the complex.


Justin Hoffman 1 year, 3 months ago

Hallelujah!! Constitution: 1 Gun hating liberals: 0

Greg Cooper 1 year, 3 months ago

Constitution: unchanged Common sense: 0

This does not make anything safer, probably no more dangerous, just makes it plain that the "smaller government" Repressive Party is not that at all.

Theodore Calvin 1 year, 3 months ago

All about local control until they aren't. So is the state level as "local" as the republicans are willing to go? County, municipal, and even organization level is too "local"? I mean, don't these people always scream about how the local institutions can govern themselves best and know what is needed at the base level? Only when it fits their narrative... otherwise they turn around and spit on that "tenet" of theirs.

Bob Smith 1 year, 3 months ago

The crazy patchwork of local firearms laws in Kansas was a wretched mess. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Kyle Neuer 1 year, 3 months ago

I seem to remember a shooting in the ER at KUMC several years ago. Not good. Funny how politicians and the NRA love guns everywhere they are not.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 3 months ago

Oh yeah. At the national level they are going to make it possible for the mentally ill to buy guns, and we will have drugged up people with guns in their rooms. Nothing bad could happen, right?

Bob Summers 1 year, 3 months ago

.....Yeah. Exactly. And people do not need ID to vote either cuz nothing bad could happen, right?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 year, 3 months ago

I know all this voter fraud has been bad. I mean look at all the Republicans getting elected across the country.

Bob Summers 1 year, 3 months ago

I think some if not most are Liberals choosing the Republican mantle. Look at Brownback. He definitely has the condition.

Richard Neuschafer 1 year, 3 months ago

Liberal this! Liberal that! Can't you think for yourself, Bob? You are just a parrot.

Greg Cooper 1 year, 3 months ago

No, Richard, I think parrots can actually learn.

Richard Neuschafer 1 year, 3 months ago

True. Bob has his head so far up his a@s there is no hope of anything intelligent coming from him.

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