Archive for Friday, March 17, 2017

Keeping gun ban at Kansas mental hospitals may cost $25M

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Interim Secretary Tim Keck, left, takes a tour of Osawatomie State Hospital led by hospital superintendent John Worley, Friday, April 8, 2016 in Osawatomie.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Interim Secretary Tim Keck, left, takes a tour of Osawatomie State Hospital led by hospital superintendent John Worley, Friday, April 8, 2016 in Osawatomie.

March 17, 2017, 12:12 p.m. Updated March 19, 2017, 7:46 p.m.

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— It could cost $25 million to upgrade security at Kansas’ major mental hospitals in Osawatomie and Larned in order to avoid allowing concealed carry firearms in the building.

A state law that takes effect in July requires an open-door policy at the two hospitals serving people with severe mental illnesses unless extraordinary security measures have been taken to protect patients. The law requires Kansas’ community mental health centers, public hospitals and public universities to allow people inside with concealed guns if there is no airport-level screening at building entrances, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck told a House committee Thursday that the statute applies to the state hospitals, and it could cost an estimated $25 million to install metal detection equipment and bolster security staff.

“We’re trying to balance the need to protect our patients and staff with the law,” department spokeswoman Angela de Rocha said.

Legislation has stalled that would exempt medical facilities and college campuses from the concealed-gun law.

Democratic Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore said exempting mental hospitals from the security requirements would make more sense, given Kansas’ budget shortfall and the hospitals’ difficulty in hiring medical personnel.

“There’s no question we can’t allow guns in Osawatomie and Larned,” Wolfe Moore said. “The staffing issues they already experience will be much, much worse.”

Republican House Speaker Ron Ryckman said the consideration of a concealed-carry bill Friday has been postponed because of the information about potential cost incurred by state hospitals to maintain a firearm ban.

Comments

Bob Forer 2 months, 1 week ago

Odd. But it would only take a couple of hundred dollars in printing costs to pass a law exempting the State Hospitals. What are these fools thinking? Guns in a mental hospital????????

Andrew Applegarth 2 months, 1 week ago

What's odd is the number of people who don't realize that the real headline should be "Starting to prevent concealed weapons from entering mental hospitals may cost $25M". If they were actually preventing them now, they wouldn't need to spend more money.

Paul Beyer 2 months, 1 week ago

Bob, look at the mental level of average state legislator, especially the GOP members. You know, the ones owned by the the NRA.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 1 week ago

Our conservative government is now allowing people with severe metal illness to buy guns, so I guess they might as well have them at the hospitals. Conservatives, so called "pro-life" Christians probably hope that they will all shoot each other or commit suicide, then they don't have to deal with the mentally ill anymore. Just like if they cut the house bound out of Meals on Wheels, they will starve to death and then there will be more money available for even more tax cuts to the rich. Then they can go to church and pretend like they are Christians.

Bob Smith 2 months, 1 week ago

"Our conservative government is now allowing people with severe metal illness to buy guns..." That's a gross misrepresentation of the law.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 1 week ago

Where are all the gun people defending the mentally ill's rights to own a gun? Their leaders have voted for this, but they seem to have ghosted in this particular discussion.

Bob Summers 2 months, 1 week ago

I'm with you H-R.

This law is ridiculous to allow biological Liberals the ability to own a firearm.

The Liberal's ability to weave and meld into the social fabric of a given society is warrant enough to ban them from being any where near a firearm, let alone being sanctioned to purchase one.

Michael Kort 2 months, 1 week ago

Just send all of this state's mentally ill, their guns ( and their right to be armed with guns ) to the state capitol building in Topeka and let the legislators deal with it all and save the public the $25 MILLION .

The legislature wants to save money.........don't they ?

Hey,.....they are republicans, they have magic dust and they can deal with anything !

Larry Sturm 2 months, 1 week ago

It won't cost 25M just repeal the gun law.

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