Over a year into campus carry at KU, first gun-policy violation reported

photo by: Associated Press

A bus passes in front of Strong Hall on Nov. 16, 2015, on the University of Kansas campus.

If gun toting is flourishing at the University of Kansas since campus carry began, people are concealing their firearms well.

In the first 15 months of the controversial policy allowing concealed guns on campus, one violation has been reported, the Journal-World found, and no gun crimes have been reported.

The sole violation, a gun being carried inappropriately, was quickly corrected and resulted in no disciplinary action, according to the university.

The Journal-World recently requested information from KU about all weapons-policy violations involving guns since campus carry was enacted on July 1, 2017.

As of late October, when the university responded, there had been a single violation involving a gun, according to the university’s response through public records custodian Jen Arbuthnot.

That case occurred Oct. 2 at Smith Hall, 1300 Jayhawk Boulevard. A student was carrying a gun in his backpack — but instead of being concealed from view, as required, the gun was in an outside mesh pocket of the backpack where it could be seen.

A faculty member reported the incident.

“The student was informed of the policy and corrected the problem with no further issues,” Arbuthnot said in the written response to the Journal-World. “No sanctions were imposed.”

That incident was one of five weapons-policy violations reported since campus carry began, but the other four involved knives not guns, according to the university.

In addition to violating university policy, in certain circumstances having a gun on campus could also violate state law. Examples include a person under 21 or under the influence of alcohol carrying a concealed gun.

The campus saw no weapons law arrests in 2017, according to KU’s recently released Clery Report. No weapons law violations have been reported so far in 2018 either, Deputy Chief James Anguiano of the KU Office of Public Safety said, as of late October.

Prior to campus carry, university policy banned all weapons everywhere on campus. Now knives, explosives, crossbows, other weapons and openly carried guns are still banned, but lawfully carried concealed handguns and stun guns are allowed.

State university campuses previously were exempt from the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act requirement that concealed guns be allowed in public spaces and buildings.

In the years and months before that exemption expired, faculty and students at universities across Kansas — particularly KU — voiced opposition and fear about the change, though the backlash did not change lawmakers’ minds.

Beginning July 1, 2017, in accordance with state law, KU changed its policy to begin allowing lawfully carried concealed handguns everywhere on campus except at large sporting events and certain restricted access areas.

Handguns on the KU campus traditionally have been an unusual occurrence.

In the six years prior to campus carry, a total of three criminal reports involving handguns were reported on or adjacent to campus, the Journal-World has previously reported based on KU police reports.

In one case, a person was found with a handgun at a scholarship hall in 2012, which was illegal at that time.

The other two cases involved handguns discovered during traffic stops where suspects also had drugs and other illegal items.

In a 2014 traffic stop on 23rd Street near Crestline Drive, a person was carrying a concealed gun without a permit, also previously illegal. In a 2016 traffic stop in the 1600 block of Engel Road, police found a person under 21 in possession of a handgun.

Related story

Update on the Wescoe Hall gun mystery and why KU doesn’t consider it a violation of campus-carry policy

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.