LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill
A.G. denies KU request to ban guns in sensitive areas; rocket fuel and guns likely to mix on campus
Pressurized gas cylinders, rocket fuel, other combustible materials — it appears unlikely the University of Kansas will be legally allowed to ban handguns from campus locations where those are stored.
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little told the University Senate on Thursday that there are high-security labs and other areas on campus where firing a gun would be “disastrous” but that the attorney general has told KU it can’t make those places exceptions to state law.
KU and other state universities are currently drafting policies to implement a state law that requires allowing concealed guns on campus beginning in July 2017, with the exception of buildings with adequate security measures to keep all guns out, such as metal detectors or security guards.
Proposed policies have not yet been made public. The Kansas Board of Regents is slated to consider them at its October and November meetings.
In the meantime, a small committee of representatives from KU’s Lawrence and Medical Center campuses has been working on KU’s draft policy.
“In making the policy there were some things that we tried to include that had to have a review by the attorney general,” Gray-Little said. “We have not been given the go-ahead to include that,” she said of an effort to designate restricted areas, which has been suggested by a number of faculty members over the course of the past year.
Those faculty members include aerospace engineering professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, who asked the chancellor about the issue during Thursday’s University Senate meeting. He said engineering labs, for one, are home to storage for a multitude of dangers including pressurized gas cylinders, rocket fuel and other fuels.
KU’s policy may, however, legally require people bringing concealed guns into buildings to have those guns in holsters, Gray-Little said, based on the attorney general’s opinion. “My information is that we can require that,” she said.
— I’m the Journal-World’s KU and higher ed reporter. See all the newspaper’s KU coverage here. Reach me by email at email@example.com, by phone at 832-7187, on Twitter @saramarieshep or via Facebook at Facebook.com/SaraShepherdNews.