Archive for Thursday, March 9, 2017

New bill would pre-empt concealed-carry regulations devised by KU and other schools

University of Kansas professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez stands with a model of a drone missile being developed at KU, telling a legislative committee that it's one example of a research project soon to leave Kansas because of the state's expansive laws allowing people to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

University of Kansas professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez stands with a model of a drone missile being developed at KU, telling a legislative committee that it's one example of a research project soon to leave Kansas because of the state's expansive laws allowing people to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

March 9, 2017

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— Pushing back against what they claim are unreasonable regulations on concealed-carry rights that the University of Kansas and other Regents institutions plan to implement on July 1, gun rights advocates have introduced a new bill in the Legislature that would prohibit public colleges and universities from enacting any limitations.

Officials from KU and the Kansas Board of Regents, however, said individual schools should be allowed to adopt their own policies. And one KU professor said even the current law is already driving top-level high-tech research projects out of the state.

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee heard testimony Thursday on a new bill that would pre-empt regulations that limit how and where people must store weapons, how weapons can be carried, and whether having a round of ammunition in the chamber of a gun is allowed while it's being carried on campus.

National Rifle Association lobbyist Travis Couture-Lovelady, a former state legislator, said a number of schools are preparing to adopt what he considers to be unreasonable limitations. But he singled out KU as being the most egregious.

Travis Couture-Lovelady, a former legislator who now lobbies for the National Rifle Association, argues before a House committee, alleging the University of Kansas and other Regents institutions are enacting unreasonable regulations to circumvent a new law that requires them to allow people to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Travis Couture-Lovelady, a former legislator who now lobbies for the National Rifle Association, argues before a House committee, alleging the University of Kansas and other Regents institutions are enacting unreasonable regulations to circumvent a new law that requires them to allow people to carry concealed weapons on campus.

"Yes, KU's policies are the most egregious, but there are some concerns with some of the other universities as well," he said.

Under a law enacted in 2013, public college and university buildings, along with most other local government buildings, must allow people to carry concealed handguns unless the building has adequate security to prevent anyone from bringing weapons inside. That law takes effect July 1.

The law applies to anyone over age 21 who is not otherwise legally prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.

The Kansas Board of Regents then instructed each school to draft policies for each of its campuses to implement that law.

KU submitted its weapons policy in October last year, and it was formally approved by the Board of Regents in December.

Among other things, that policy says people carrying concealed handguns must keep those guns "secure on his or her person and concealed from view when not in use for purposes provided by law." If a gun is carried in a handbag, purse or backpack, then that handbag, purse or backpack "must be physically on or in the hands of the person carrying it."

In addition, KU's policy says concealed guns must be secured in a holster that completely covers the trigger. Semi-automatic guns are not allowed to have a round in the chamber, and revolvers must have the hammer resting on an empty cylinder.

Couture-Lovelady said it is unrealistic to expect a woman who carries a gun in her purse to keep that purse in her hand or on her shoulder throughout class.

He also said the requirements that guns have an empty chamber or cylinder would be dangerous, if not impossible, to enforce, and he suggested that KU and other schools were really trying to prevent people from exercising their rights under the new law.

"It's hard to take them at their word when they say they're just trying to put common sense, reasonable regulations on this when (they've) been up here a number of times this year trying to completely get rid of guns on campus completely," he said.

"I believe a lot of these issues on the university-level are just trying to make it more confusing and more restrictive so that students and faculty will just give up and choose not to carry for risk of violating one of these policies," he added.

Kansas Board of Regents Chairwoman Zoe Newton, however, argued that passing the bill would have far-reaching effects on campuses for the upcoming school year.

For example, she said, universities have already mailed out housing contracts to students for the upcoming year, and those contracts include language from the weapons policies that each school has adopted. Passing the bill, she said, would alter the terms of contracts that have already been signed.

University of Kansas professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez stands with a model of a drone missile being developed at KU, telling a legislative committee that it's one example of a research project soon to leave Kansas because of the state's expansive laws allowing people to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

University of Kansas professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez stands with a model of a drone missile being developed at KU, telling a legislative committee that it's one example of a research project soon to leave Kansas because of the state's expansive laws allowing people to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

Meanwhile, KU engineering professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez told the committee that the existing law is already driving top-tier faculty out of the state, along with a number of high-tech research projects.

As one example of what he called a "casualty" of the 2013 law, he displayed a life-size model of a "hovering drone missile" being developed at KU — something he said he was allowed to bring into the Statehouse without even being asked about it by security officers — but which will probably be moved to California soon, specifically because of the state's gun laws.

"As I am speaking today, right now, the chief engineer on this program is interviewing at Cal Poly because of our gun laws," he said, referring to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. "California and other states are eager to cherry-pick our projects like this and others."

One reason projects like the drone missile are leaving, he said, is because standard industry practices and federal regulations "strictly forbid" firearms from facilities where such weapons are being developed and tested.

"Because HB 2220 prevents lab managers from enforcing even the most basic lab safety protocols with respect to weapons, keeping the lab open and continuing experimental work on this aircraft and others like it will be an act of gross negligence," Barrett-Gonzalez said.

Megan Jones, a graduate student and instructor at KU expressed her objections to the bill even more bluntly.

"Campus-carry is only meant to defend and protect white men on campus," she said, prompting a quick warning from committee chairman Rep. John Barker, R-Abilene, to focus her remarks on the bill being discussed.

"This is incredibly relevant because the universities cannot make policies that would protect students on our campuses who are at the most risk," she said. "People are being threatened now on our university campuses for being black, for being LGBT, for not appearing the way all of the representatives for the NRA have appeared in front of this Legislature."

The Federal and State Affairs Committee is almost evenly split on the issue of concealed carry. Earlier in the session, a bill that would have exempted public hospitals, clinics and mental health facilities from the law failed by one vote to advance to the full House.

But opponents of the new law believe they have enough votes in the full House to pass legislation that would exempt college and university campuses, as well as public health facilities, and they have said they plan to offer that as an amendment on any gun-related bill that goes to the full House.

Barker had said at the start of the hearing that he planned to bring the bill up for a vote soon. After the hearing, though, he said he had not decided exactly when that would be.

The Federal and State Affairs Committee is exempt from the deadlines that apply to most other committees and can report out bills at any time, up to and including the last day of the session.

Comments

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

A modern revolver with a transfer bar under the hammer is safe to carry fully loaded.

William Enick 5 months ago

And the students think of this reality as akin to hearing a neanderthal approaching...by the sound of his club being dragged on the ground. No joke. And then there's the other half of students who see it as another symptom of what it is to exist inside the Death Machine.

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

And conversely, if churches want to wax politics and receive state funding for their religious schools, we should be able to burden them with state "regulations", ie, taxes.

Sam Crow 5 months, 1 week ago

That has to be the biggest pivot and deflect ever. Probably belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 1 week ago

So, just what is wrong with his thought?

Ralph Reed 5 months, 1 week ago

No Sam, No. It's a perfect segue (look it up) and you know it.

We have "churches" in LFK that preach politics from the pulpit and on signs next to the road. (IMHO, some of what is said is downright offensive.) Those "churches" should lose their tax exempt status and pay taxes.

BTW: I've often wondered, based on your comments, if you're related to Jim.

Sam Crow 5 months, 1 week ago

Because the article is about guns and Regent schools. Not about churches and taxes.

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

You're right Sam, but the premise is the same. We have state institutions either explicitly or implicitly being aided by taxes, or aided by having to pay none at all. If one has to be subject to all these rules you hold so near and dear, then we should observe all of them with such vigor in all institutions, right? We can surely agree on that, with your strict "constitutionalist" views.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Explicitly or implicitly? They are funded by tax dollars, no question.

Off topic? No question - it was an attempt to deflect from the real discussion, but since it was brought up, yes, I believe all non-governmental entities should pay tax - churches, non-profits, charities and yes, LLCs.

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

Brock, I was simply pointing out how hypocritical people are when it comes to this topic. They are soooo fervent in ensuring we observe gun rights on one hand, but completely ignore other rules they don't so much care for on the other. That's it.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

Actually, any attempt by the government to control what is said from the pulpit is a violation of the first amendment.

Also, any attempt to revoke the tax exempt status of churches but not other non-profit organizations that support or oppose any issue or candidate would be a violation. You would also have to take it away from the Sierra Club, ACLU, and every PAC (just to name a few).

Richard Heckler 5 months, 1 week ago

The NRA Political Action Committee aka special interest campaign funding source should mind their own damn business.

The National Rifle Association lost their status as a family friendly organization when they altered their mission to become instead a back door source for campaign money in order for the anti american political right wing to defy campaign spending regulations.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 1 week ago

The combined $14 million is more money than Rebuilding America Now, a pro-Trump Super PAC, has spent. Additionally, the NRA has spent nearly $9 million so far on independent expenditures supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whom the NRA endorsed at its annual meeting in May.

While other conservative outside spenders have backed away from Trump, the NRA has thrown its lot in with him -- and continues to do so despite Trump’s ongoing collapse in national polling amid multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.

As of October 12, the NRA had already spent a record-breaking $21 million attempting to get Trump elected, nearly double the $12 million the group spent in its failed “all in” effort to elect Romney in 2012.

The NRA is showing no signs of letting up either. This week, it released a $5 million ad that distorted comments Clinton has made on the Second Amendment and on her use of a private email server in order to falsely brand her as a liar. Other NRA ads have pushed the falsehood that Clinton opposes all gun ownership, an NRA claim that has been repeatedly rated false by independent fact-checkers.

As early as August, The New York Times reported that conservative outside spenders other than the NRA were backing away from Trump.

The Times article reported that “Donald J. Trump’s candidacy has driven away throngs of Republican elected officials, donors and policy experts. But not the National Rifle Association,” noting that the NRA is “the institution on the right most aggressively committed to his candidacy, except for the Republican National Committee itself” and that the NRA “has spent millions of dollars on television commercials for Mr. Trump, even as other Republican groups have kept their checkbooks closed.”

According to the NRA’s November magazine, the group is touting itself as “the key” to electing Trump and claiming he is the only candidate who can “save our freedom.”

Richard Heckler 5 months, 1 week ago

The NRA is interfering with business,government and education establishments that do not want concealed weapons allowed on their properties.

Phillip Chappuie 5 months, 1 week ago

Hey, I'm a gun guy. But Mr. Heckler is correct. I get nervous when I see Joe Blow six pack open carry in the Walmart. I don't know what kind of an idiot this guy may or may not be. Conceal is no different. Might be OK on Mass but not on campus. To me that represents a giant step backward in the development of our society as a whole. The old west come to life at the Oread corral. When I was a kid, I thought the NRA magazine was cool. Mostly stuff about cool rifles and hunting big game. It was sportsman oriented. That's long gone. Now it seems to be more about armed insurrection.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Phillip, you're right you don't know what kind of idiot som one legally carrying a gun and exercising their Constitutional right is, but that doesn't mean our government has the right to oppress Constitutional rights. Your nervousness and discomfort does not justify oppression of rights. If it were, then the bigots who oppose same sex marriage would be justified in denying same sex couples the same privileges afforded under the law to heterosexual couples.

As for the NRA, don't know what you've been reading, but the lead story this month is by Craig Boddinton about hunting dangerous game. There are at least 8 other hunting stories. See the nice thing about the NRA is they give you a choice in what you want to read. Hunting your thing, then select that magazine, if not they have others to choose from

Don't like open carry or concealed carry then amend the Constitution. Until then suck it up and accept that in a free society you're not going to like everything other people do.

For the record, yeah, I eye anyone carrying open suspiciously- you don't know their intent, but it is their right so I accept it.

Theodore Calvin 5 months, 1 week ago

George Carlin: "Think of how stupid the average person is, and then remember that half are dumber than that."

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 1 week ago

Just like in the Wild West, right. Everyone had freedom to carry their guns anywhere back then, right?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-winkler/did-the-wild-west-have-mo_b_956035.html

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

So you want to base the exercise of Constitutional rights on the Wild West? Okay, but give up your right to vote, the right to have an abortion, and get back into the kitchen.

A past wrong, think slavery, is not a justification for a moden wrong.

Joshua Cain 5 months, 1 week ago

Wasn't conceal and carry supposed to usher in the wild west? Did it ever materialize?

Charles Jones 5 months, 1 week ago

You misconstrue the Constitution. In Heller, even gun-right advocate Antonin Scalia stressed that the Court was not casting doubt on long-standing bans on carrying a concealed gun or on gun possession by felons or the mentally retarded, on laws barring guns from schools or government buildings, and laws putting conditions on gun sales.

I'm not sure it's realistic for you to expect others respect the Constitution. When you carelessly twist it around to substantiate your uninformed position.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Specifically, how did I misconstrue the Constitution? Yes, Heller said that gun rights can be regulated and they are, but what I said doesn't conflict with this because we were discussing the current legal carry of guns.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Still waiting. Of course you can't show me where I carelessly twisted the Constitution because I'm not challenging a law banning guns on campus, but instead supporting the government allowing guns on campus.

Charles Jones 5 months, 1 week ago

"Don't like open carry or concealed carry then amend the Constitution." Constitution doesn't need amending to prohibit concealed carry. That's a political decision.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Better do a little more research. As a result of Heller, Illinois which was the last state not to allow concealed carry relented and now issues concealed carry permits. The premise being how can one exercise their right to bear arms if they can't carry?

And, there is a reason the state's that do not require permits for concealed carry refer to it as Constitutional carry.

Here is an excerpt from the case and the link to it follows. Still think it's a political decision?

In a 2-1 decision (Williams dissenting), the court reversed both District Courts' decisions and orders. Judge Posner, writing for the majority, notes that while the Heller and McDonald decisions did say that the need for self-defense is most acute inside the home, that doesn't mean it is not also acute outside the home. "Confrontations are not limited to the home".[4] The distinct use of the words "keep" and "bear" in the text of the Second Amendment, the court reasoned, implied the right to carry outside one's home, as in historical context, the meaning of the word did not limit it to the home and it would be awkward to attempt to assign that connotation to documents of the time period. The court also reasoned that this limitation would not have been rational as of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, because in what was then the Wild West - including the Ohio River Valley - settlers would have had to contend with native Indians, and such confrontations would be more likely, and more dangerous to an unarmed settler, outside the home rather than in. This negated the Defendants/Appellees' claim that the Blackstone writings and other documents of English origin pointed to a more castle doctrine-based interpretation of the Second Amendment as it would have been understood by the American colonists. While twenty-first century Illinois has no marauding Indian tribes, the threat, from gangs and street thugs, continues, and, says the decision, "a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk in a rough neighborhood than in his apartment on the 35th floor of the Park Tower."

http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?filename=7&article=1000&context=jclc_symposium&type=additional

Chris Jeter 5 months, 1 week ago

The biggest part of this bill is removing the policy on condition 3 carry (no round in the chamber). Requiring carry like this only increasing the chances of a discharge. Accidental/Negligent discharges generally speaking happen when a firearm is being holstered or drawn. Requiring someone to change the condition of their weapon every time they move around campus only increases these opportunities. Not to mention there is no safe place to make these changes to condition. Where would they like this to take place? In parking lots? Pull over and do it in the street before entering campus? These just aren't reasonable options.

Bill Turner 5 months, 1 week ago

Agreed. The no round in the chamber provision is the thing that I thought was over the top for KU's policies. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding and knowledge by those drafting and implementing the rules.

Martin Brody 5 months, 1 week ago

This wouldn't be as much of an issue if Kansas required safety training for gun owners. Many of the stories we read are about people accidentally shooting someone rather than using their gun to stop a crime. When discussing Kansas gun owners, we are often (not always) talking about the gang that couldn't shoot straight. If you want to walk around carrying a gun in Kansas, no training is required. But if you want to give somebody a manicure the state requires 350 hours of cosmetology training. Think about that.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Apples to oranges comparison. One is a right and the other is not although I agree we have too many regulations.

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

There is no right to give manicures in the Constitution.

Ralph Reed 5 months, 1 week ago

From the article: One reason projects like the drone missile are leaving, he said, is because standard industry practices and federal regulations "strictly forbid" firearms from facilities where such weapons are being developed and tested.

"Because HB 2220 prevents lab managers from enforcing even the most basic lab safety protocols with respect to weapons, keeping the lab open and continuing experimental work on this aircraft and others like it will be an act of gross negligence," Barrett-Gonzalez said.


The NRA and their sheep (bleet, bleet, 2nd Amendment, bleet, bleet) and those who want open or concealed carry at an institution of learning have no concept of the economic impact their goals have on those institutions. Read above and read the rest of the article. Every project that cancelled or leaves the state costs money, jobs and knowledge that will not come back.

Finally, one of you sheep please tell me why you need open carry (or even concealed carry) on a university campus. Is it so you can walk around like a bantam rooster and measure [things] or what? Use logical reasoning and provide a concise, coherent argument, not just something like "bleet, bleet, 2nd Amendment, bleet, bleet, 100 - round magazine, bleet, bleet."

BTW, I do have a CCH and am trained, and I do know the difference between an actual need to carry and "bleet, bleet, 2nd Amendment, bleet, bleet."

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

That is the beauty of a Constitutional right, you don't have to justify why you want to exercise it. It is a right no justification needed.

However, I will tell you why concealed carry on campus is a good idea. College campuses are not immune from violent crime, in fact, you may be, especially if a woman, at greater risk to be a victim on campus.

A gun can prevent one from becoming a victim. You carry so why do you do it? Presumably for self-defense. Well students and others on campus have a right to defend themselves from attack, whether it is an attack on them as an individual or against a mass attack.

Until you can ensure that violent crime will not happen on campus people should be able to exercise their right to carry and defend themselves from attack.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

So, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez is a liar and you bought his hogwash. The law makes it very clear that areas can be declared gun free by putting in the necessary means to actually make them gun free. If the lab does not currently meet the necessary level of prevention to qualify under the law, then they do not "strictly forbid" them now. They simply give the requirement lip service.

Actually, the university policy which requires the weapon to be on the person at all times (which prevents the use of a secure weapons locker outside of the lab) is what will prevent this protocol from being enforced.

Ralph Reed 5 months, 1 week ago

Megan Jones is absolutely correct when she made her comments.


Megan Jones, a graduate student and instructor at KU expressed her objections to the bill even more bluntly.

"Campus-carry is only meant to defend and protect white men on campus," she said, prompting a quick warning from committee chairman Rep. John Barker, R-Abilene, to focus her remarks on the bill being discussed.

"This is incredibly relevant because the universities cannot make policies that would protect students on our campuses who are at the most risk," she said. "People are being threatened now on our university campuses for being black, for being LGBT, for not appearing the way all of the representatives for the NRA have appeared in front of this Legislature."

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Right, because people of color, women, and the LGBT community have no need to use a gun to defend themselves and even if they did, there is some secret conspiracy that prevents them from carrying.

How silly to suggest that this only benefits white men.

Women are one of the fasted growing segment of gun owners.

Martin Brody 5 months, 1 week ago

"If responsible gun owners are around then..."

That's a big "if" and there's the problem. Many of the Kansas gun owners seem to be of the "hold my beer" mentality. How many Kansas gun owners do you know that have actually taken a gun safety course? Now, how many times have you heard of a gun owner accidentally firing his weapon in a restaurant, shooting his kid while cleaning his gun, leaving a loaded handgun unattended in a committee meeting? But, yeah, it's a constitutional right to carry a loaded gun without knowing how to properly use it, so yee-haw!

Bob Summers 5 months, 1 week ago

As if helicopter mothers are going to allow their precious pajama boy to pack heat at school.

Just give the option of whistles or noisy clackers for all the fellas willing to put up a fussy resistance to a wrongdoer .

That should do the trick.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 months, 1 week ago

I support this new bill. KU, and other Regent's institutions, regulations make the use of a firearm for self defense very difficult, if not impossible. Most such incidents take place in a short distance and time. I also disagree that the constitutional carry law only protects white men. Women need to know how to protect themselves, too. No one should be able to promote regulations that interfere with the constitutional carry law made by the legislature and signed by the governor, which is what KU is trying to do. Only the state has the right to amend and/or change the constitutional carry law.

Cille King 5 months, 1 week ago

Josh, do you have any real numbers on those who have taken a concealed carry class? Numbers on how many carry concealed?

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

In 2012 KS issued 50,000 permits. All those people had training. In 2016, after Constitutional carry the state issued 5400 permits. Those people received training.

You could review all the AG reports year by year to get the full numbers.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

For me, the importance of the training is an introduction to the law regarding using a gun for self-defense. You, despite being in the right, take a huge risk when you defend yourself with a gun. You must know when you can use deadly force and when you can't. Sometimes the line isn't very clear.

To all those tha say, sure you carry a gun because your want to strut around like a rooster and be a hero, I respond, nope. No one will know I'm carrying, I keep my head down, mind my own business, won't come to your defense with my gun and will only use it to protect myself and my family as a last resort.

Rather be thought a coward and retreat if possible than have to face the legal and financial issues that come with defending yourself with a gun.

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