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No concealed carry in Lawrence schools


Teachers and staff in the Lawrence school district will not be allowed to carry firearms on school property, even if they have a concealed permit.

That was the word from school board president Vanessa Sanburn who said the district would not change its weapons policy, despite passage of a new state law that would allow teachers and other employees with permits to carry firearms.

On April 16, Gov. Sam Brownback signed HB 2052 which, among other things, requires municipal governments to allow people with permits to carry concealed weapons into public buildings, unless those buildings have metal detectors or other security measures to prevent anyone from bringing weapons inside.

The law is mandatory for city, county and state buildings (except the Statehouse itself). Public schools are not required to allow concealed carry, but school districts may allow licensed employees to carry concealed handguns if they choose to do so.

After four years, the law will also apply to university buildings.

Sanburn said during Monday's board meeting that she had received several phone calls and emails from people asking whether teachers in Lawrence would be allowed to carry concealed weapons.

She said the board had no intention of changing its current policy, which prohibits anyone other than a law enforcement officer to possess a weapon, "in or on any school property, school grounds, or any district building or structure used for student instruction or attendance or extracurricular activities of pupils, or at any regularly scheduled school sponsored activity or event."

That prohibition includes concealed weapons, even if the person has a legal permit.

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    basic101101 5 years, 1 month ago

    Why not let a teacher with his CCW carry?Have a lockbox and a IWB holster and no one would even know...I mean come on,everyone has a right to protect themselves weather its some law or not....Its a human right,and that should be up to the individual not some committee or board....Come on teachers are supposed to be responsible,so whats the problem....Im only saying teachers too....They and police should be the only ones carrying on school grounds....

    "Dont blame a tool for something the operator used it for,thats like putting the blame on a fork because youre fat"

    hedshrinker 5 years, 1 month ago

    carrying a gun in a classroom is not a 'human right".our personal rights are limited by "some committee or board" all the time in civilization...uh, last time I checked a fork is not a lethal weapon...faulty comparison. Leave the firearms to the school police officer...many if not most CC people have minimal training, apparently there are no requirements for ongoing continuing education and demonstrated ability, like teachers and other professionals are required to obtain. Unfortunately the law that has been passed by our poor excuse of a Gov and legislature does not even impose the minimal restrictions that you do, ie allowing only teachers to carry...I fear when the university community joins this reprehensible group...just what we don't need is a bunch of hormonal adolescents whose brains aren't even fully developed yet, packing on campus.

    basic101101 5 years, 1 month ago

    Im sorry but not saying anything about keeping one @ school is a human right....Im saying you have a human right to protect yourself...No committe or board is going to tell me how i need to protect myself nor will i tell them how they should but dont tell me i cant...This nation is full of sheep like you,and with my bud down at lkpd they like the fact that normal citizens train with them and actually take the same courses they do,along with seminars and other training programs.I call it how i see it.I see many MANY problems with the logic people think they have these days,when infact they have 0 logic...By the way any item can be used as a deadly weapon as long as the operator wielding such items has a intent to harm others...You sir need to move to california,you'd realize how wrong you actually are.

    mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

    I "honor" your right to protect yourself, but then again, why do you think you need to have a gun to do so?
    I honestly do wonder about some people who say they have a right to protect themselves, in that why do they seem to constantly feel threatened? I don't, and I have removed myself from the rare situations in which I haven't.
    And while your bud may like the fact that citizens train with them, they haven't had the complete training of the LPD - they can't handle the situations as the police do.

    optimist 5 years, 1 month ago

    "... many if not most CC people have minimal training". It is clear that you know nothing about this. I know many people with carry permits that train nearly as frequently as law enforcement. Not only paper targets at the range but defensive use of the firearm. Concealed carry owners are statistically about as likely to commit crimes as law enforcement officers and subject themselves to the same level of background check as law enforcement do. Why would they be any less trustworthy? What we do know is that sick people will do harm without respect for the law. The most recent incident began with the suspect murdering his mother to gain access to her firearms. I hardly think a sign at the front door of the elementary school or a board policy was going to stop him for harming those children and teachers. He chose a “soft target”. He didn’t go into the local police station to satisfy his urge to kill. Because law abiding citizens respected the law and did not carry firearms into the school we will never know how concealed carry might have changed the outcome of that event. If one of them were my children I would have been thankful for the parent or teacher in the school who drew their concealed firearm and ended that piece of garbage before his second pull of the trigger. Unless you have a solution short of banning all firearms (repealing the 2nd amendment) that would have prevented that event then the only solution is to overcome the unhealthy fear of the firearm. It’s time to appreciate firearms as the tool that they are and protect yourself and your community from those few that do so much damage rather than find ways to punish the majority who exercise their Constitutional right to bear arms every day.

    mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

    and there is the problem with your argument - you assume that a parent or teacher carrying a gun would have put anto it. We don't know how regular people would react in those situations and for you to assume that a CC holder could have done something is what scares me. I don't assume that a training class would prepare anyone for that situation.
    I don't have an unhealthy fear of guns. I don't have a constant fear of my life to need to carry a gun, and for you to assume that we should is also what scares me and a few other people. What you have written sounds like the wild west...lets just take care of the bad guys... THAT's what scares us the most.

    Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 1 month ago

    That's rather incoherent but I get the gist of it. What evidence do you have to substantiate your fears? I'm not really disagreeing with you, but I don't see the evidence.

    I do see your fear but I don't see your fear as evidence of danger in your neighbors' desire to protect themselves.

    greatgatsby 5 years, 1 month ago

    Does this really surprise anyone? I mean really? I wish we could find someway to secure schools though. Gun proponent, which I am, or not, there's got to be something we can do that's going to halfway appease both sides and still keep the kids safe. Just wish I knew what it was.

    optimist 5 years, 1 month ago

    Many communities around the country employ auxiliary law enforcement, including New York City. They have law enforcement training and cost the communities very little because they are mostly volunteers. In most communities they even provide their own equipment. Many are retired law enforcement or military, and others are just those that are concerned with the security of their communities and donate their time for that cause. Local communities could employ these volunteers at little to no cost to protect our schools, youth facilities and other potential targets from these mass shooters. Training standards could be put in place. They could be dressed in plain clothing and hide in and amongst the crowds and act only when the situation presents itself. The simple knowledge that these “sleepers” exist would provide security, much like Air Marshall’s on aircraft.

    Greg Cooper 5 years, 1 month ago

    And you're going to pay for this......how?

    greatgatsby 5 years ago

    He said they are volunteers. Also, if they are former police or military who are retired or just not working at the time I would bet that the LPD would have little or no problem allowing them to go through the police qualification shooting with them. It would give the police less to be concerned with and they could all be under the command of the SRO. They would of course have to go through some background checks and mental health checks but assuming they pass then it would be all good.

    Mark Currie 5 years, 1 month ago

    Only students with guns in their backpacks are allowed to carry. Drugs, alcohol, knives, guns, etc.

    James Minor 5 years, 1 month ago

    Since the NRA is against gun control they should pay for the additional protection needed in the schools. Arming teachers is not a solution to the gun problem. Controlling large magazine weapons is a step in the right direction. The Presidents ideas on gun control won't solve all the problems but will help America in the long run.

    elliottaw 5 years, 1 month ago

    No but if more people buy guns their funders the gun manufactures will kick back more money to them, that's what this whole thing is all about.

    mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

    I agree that arming teachers isn't a general solution to the problem... but as gatsby said above, there has to be some solution, whatever it may be.

    GMom05 5 years, 1 month ago

    Ridiculous! How long before some 10-year-old figures out where the teacher's gun is hidden and accidentally or on purpose shoots someone, just because it's there? Completely ignorant move to make guns MORE accessible to kids in schools. They are trained teachers, not law enforcement officers. That's what SRO's are for.

    GMom05 5 years, 1 month ago

    One of the few moves this board/district has made in a long time that I agree with.

    Jason Johnson 5 years, 1 month ago

    If a student reaches into my pockets to find a gun, I think that student has some issues that need to be addressed.

    bearded_gnome 5 years, 1 month ago

    so teachers are so irresponsible that they wouldn't secure their guns? they're that stupid? okay, good to know.q

    tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

    Teachers represent a cross section of society, which means there are some who are careful and organized and there are some who are not. There are some with eyes in the back of their head, and there are some who are oblivious.

    They gave me a Concealed Carry License and I barely know how to load and shoot a gun. Don't panic. I don't carry a gun. I took the class thinking I would get shooting lessons. Apparently that isn't the point of these classes. There was a woman in my same class who was as bad as me, only she was really paranoid. Good luck with her. I'm glad we don't live in the same town.

    chzypoof1 5 years, 1 month ago

    And I'm VERY glad you don't carry a gun. I mean, it is the State's responsibility to train you with the Gun before you carry it. I wouldn't want you to take responsibility on your own accord and learn before you carry.

    Whew, saved by the Man again!!!

    mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

    Tomatogrower's comment goes to show that they will give people a permit, and make them attend a class, but that doesn't guarantee they know what to do with a gun. they give them a permit without ensuring they know how to handle the thing...maybe they should give them the permit AFTER they prove they can handle it.

    tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

    That was my point. I wouldn't have given me the permit. I would have told me to go get some more training. I thought that was what I would get, but no. They showed me some basics, and gave me a target, even I could hit. I am taking the responsibility of not carrying a gun. Do you realize that there are people out there who have my same lack of training who are carrying a gun? That isn't scary to you?

    bearded_gnome 5 years, 1 month ago

    She said the board had no intention of changing its current policy, which prohibits anyone other than a law enforcement officer to possess a weapon, "in or on any school property, school grounds, or any district building or structure used for student instruction or attendance or extracurricular activities of pupils, or at any regularly scheduled school sponsored activity or event."

    That prohibition includes concealed weapons, even if the person has a legal permit.

    ---mind rot! in our country we protect our politicians, our money, our athletes, all with people with guns. btw, the high school I graduated from was already an armed school many years ago, so what's the big deal!

    a lot of liberal hysteria! kids would actually be safer. the killers with guns do not respect the declaration of a "gun free zone."

    large magazine prohibition is useless, perp just brings a few more loaded guns or engineers his own. it only serves to prevent defense by the law abiding.

    the president's ideas would not have prevented Arora or Newtown.

    address mental health seriously, commit those who really should be committed.

    greatgatsby 5 years, 1 month ago

    No where in there did he say he was scared.

    greatgatsby 5 years ago

    How is wanting to be able to defends one self a delusion?

    Jason Johnson 5 years, 1 month ago

    I'll answer this: I'm scared that, if in the event of an attack, I won't be able to protect myself or my loved ones. I don't want to die for lack of trying. No, I want to die giving my loved ones a chance at escape.

    I know this whole "what are you scared of" response that you (or others like you) is fun to type. But it's rather childish. I'm scared to death of dying. I'm scared that someone who wants to do me harm will be able to do so, which is why I'm taking steps (CCH) at lowering their chances to do so.

    In the fight or flight situation, I will fight.

    kernal 5 years, 1 month ago

    "....commit those who really should be committed." Agree, gnome, but the bigger question is where? As it stands now, the jails and prisons are becoming the new mental health facilities for 25% to 37%% of the prison population, depending on which prison or jail we're talking about. Most of them can't afford to provide any kind of treatment other than medication.

    This is an other conversation that needs to happen in this country.

    tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

    Exactly, and the politicians have shut down the hospitals. Gnome is one of the anti tax conservatives who want us to commit mentally ill people who are dangerous, but he doesn't want to have to pay for it in taxes. Most conservatives I know seem to want their cake, eat it, and not pay for it.

    optimist 5 years, 1 month ago

    That incident was an anomaly and quite far from the rule. Nobody is perfect but even law enforcement officers have had accidental discharges and injured themselves or others. To compare accidentally being shot to being hunted by a crazed person I think is silly. I myself would prefer not to get shot at all. I'm thinking an accidental discharge is far less likely to hit someone than the deliberate actions of a mass murderer. All things considered there is little one can do to protect themselves from another’s carelessness but cowering in fear rather than being able to defend ones self when the inevitable is about to happen causes me far more concern.

    In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

    What it means is that the school is deciding to take on the liability of protecting the children from harm. If anything happens in a school, the schools are now liable for the damages.

    Anthony Mall 5 years, 1 month ago

    Every school should have an armed gaurd/SRO anytime kids are in the building. Not a fan of guns being in every classroom however, someone at the school should be armed. The officer or gaurd can keep the gun hidden or wear plain clothes as to not scare the kids but we live in a new time where people will do anything and it can happen anywhere.

    Anthony Mall 5 years, 1 month ago

    Most schools already have officers in the school... Let's control some of this government spending and there's your money... SRO are paid for by the city budget for the police department, and I am certain people in Lawrence woukd have no issue paying a few extra dollars a year to help pay the extra cost involved...

    GMom05 5 years, 1 month ago

    As I said, this is what SROs are for, not the teacher's role. Except funding is cut again so that Middle school's who used to have full time SROs now, have one part time and high schools get 3 1/2. Elementary get none. This article says only that teachers and staff won't be carrying guns, not the local Lawrence police, which the SROs are.

    chootspa 5 years ago

    A good person with a gun usually turns out to be a bad aim in a firefight. Even trained cops turn out to be lousy aims in the middle of shootouts. The only reason shooters on a spree hit so many people is because people freeze instead of running away or charging.

    You're right that hiding under the desk is usually a bad strategy. It's not bullet proof, and the shooter is looking for kids there. Bracing the door (even with your own body), hiding in closets and locked bathrooms, running away, jumping out of windows, and playing dead are all strategies that have saved lives in recent school shootings.

    Dayna Lee 5 years, 1 month ago

    I think a lot more time should be spent discussing guns with children. I don't think that concealed guns are going to make a difference. It's better to explain to children what happens when you choose to carry and especially use a gun. It would be nice if a cop and a military person taught a class with a discussion. It's important to allow for questions. Make sure you pay attention.

    tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

    Many parents are letting even their little kids play stupid video games, so they don't have to talk to their kids. Or they just don't want to talk to their kids. Like the people who buy vans with TV's and have mcmansions. Don't talk to your kids in the car. Make sure they have their own bedroom suite with TV, computer, fridge. Keep them occupied and quiet. When I was a para I had a student who told he often turned off all the lights, because he had noticed his parents had gone to bed. They couldn't even be bothered to tuck this kid in, and he had no bed time, always falling asleep in class. But he had everything he could want in his own little basement suite. He was only 12 years old.

    Angela Heili 5 years, 1 month ago

    I agree that armed security is a good idea in schools, the problem is they don't have them in every school. They have them in the middle schools/junior highs and the high schools, but not the elementary schools. They need to hire security for the elementary schools and if they aren't willing to do that, the schools need some way of defending themselves against someone who may have a gun, otherwise you have the situation Newtown had. Had an armed security officer been there the outcome may have been very different.

    chootspa 5 years ago

    They had an armed security guard at Columbine.

    chzypoof1 5 years, 1 month ago

    Arguing this point isn't worth it. People that are against guns, will not change their views. Even if their children could be threatened, they won't change. Let's get a forum of the parents from Newtown and ask them if they would be ok with an armed SRO officer in their school now. I"m guessing most would say YES. 1 of the parents went before congress and testified that we need someone Armed in the schools, and his kid was shot.

    It's unfortunate that we've come to this point in our country, but we are here. The shooting in CT will not be the last one. Changing clips, guns, background checks won't stop it either. The guns are already out there. Defending yourself and your kids should be natural thinking, but it seems that logic is gone in this debate.

    I truly hope that my child, that goes to school in Lawrence, does not ever have to face this horrible reality. But I would feel a lot better knowing the SRO had a chance to defend them.


    mom_of_three 5 years, 1 month ago

    Well, you are wrong., poof.. but you were making assumptions, and that happens when one makes assumptions. If they want to have an armed guard at school, then fine. because that is better than arming teachers. BUT they need to be trained, and not some rent a cop.
    Background checks may not stop all the violence, but it will help. It certainly won't hurt, and for you to say that it won't help is part of the problem. It may take a number of things to make it better and people, ALL people, need to be willing to listen and to help make the changes. Why should we be thinking about defending myself? I am NEVER in that situation. I am not scared or worried and Its not on my constant thinking. I do know where my weapon of self defense is at home, but I again, I am not worried about it. My kids were trained to protect themselves, but none of us feel like we need to have a gun to do so.
    a gun is not an end all, be all, for protection. You can have one, and I have no problem with it, but don't tell me that I need one for protection.

    GMom05 5 years, 1 month ago

    Their is a difference here that some people are mixing up. It is between Lawrence police officers (SRO-School Resource Officers) or Teachers carrying guns. This article says school teachers and staff will not carry guns. NOT that the police won't. SROs are not employees of the school district but of the Lawrence Police department. So, add the armed SRO Police officers in every school and there you have the protection called for and you haven't had to arm the teachers.

    kansastm 5 years, 1 month ago

    And let's be absolutely clear--SROs are paid for by the city, not the school district. Cuts to SROs in the schools have been because of CITY budget cuts, not school budget cuts.

    oldbaldguy 5 years, 1 month ago

    sros were cut because there is no federal money to offset county/city funding for personnel.

    Jason Johnson 5 years, 1 month ago

    So long as the schools don't have metal detectors, if you're conceal carrying properly, no one will know you have it. :)

    I imagine, then, that if the need warranted using it, you would probably be hailed a hero if you saved a bunch of children's lives.

    Armored_One 5 years, 1 month ago

    So what would be the legal reasoning behind preventing a student that is of the age of majority, in possession of a firearm and has received all the "proper" training from bringing said weapon to school?

    Seems to me that it would be infringing on that student's Second Amendment rights. I mean, honestly... if you are going to insist that this is an issue of rights, then it is an issue of everyone's rights, not just those that you approve.

    Jason Johnson 5 years, 1 month ago

    Apparently you can't read, because he said, "a student that is of the age of majority". Ergo, 18.

    Armored_One 5 years, 1 month ago

    Well, at least someone does. Somehow, though, jhorus, I highly doubt I will get much of an answer to the question. Challenging people, while entertaining, rarely leads anywhere overtly fulfilling.

    Armored_One 5 years ago


    Children aged 18 or higher are protected under the 4th Amendment, just as you an I are. There simply hasn't been a challenge to the whole no guns on school yet, but the instant they allow teachers to carry on campus, there will be one.

    Oh, and by the by, 18 years of age is the minimum for owning a firearm. Yes, 'children', as you put it, have as much constitutional access to the Second Amendment as you and I do. Well, I know I do. Not sure about your age, no offense meant.

    chootspa 5 years ago

    The Second Amendment gives the right to own the gun, not the unregulated right to open carry it everywhere they go. Unless you're arguing that they should also be allowed to open carry it into airports and court houses?

    juma 5 years ago

    I agree with Tanya; what about the idiot who shot his wife in the restaurant. Accidents can kill. What is the follow-up story LJW? Did this piece of s... get to keep his CC? He is the poster boy for CC rights.

    Centerville 5 years ago

    Let me guess: Lawrence school children aren't as worthy of protection as are the children of our beloved rulers. Right?

    hedshrinker 5 years ago

    ALL Presidents as well as other high elected officials have secret svc protection whether they want it or not (the Bush girls didn't want it b/c it interfered w their hijinks, but they got it anyway)...you always trot this lame "argument " out like it 's special treatment for this particular President...get over yrself.

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