TOPEKA — Residents authorized to carry a concealed handgun should be able to defend themselves if the government can't guarantee their safety, gun proponents say. That's the idea behind a bill that would allow people with concealed-carry permits to take their firearms into state or municipal buildings that don't have "adequate security measures" such as metal detectors and trained guards.
That means places like the Capitol and college campuses.
"If they are going to strip me of my right (to carry a firearm) then they need to take responsibility for my safety," said Patricia Stoneking, president of the Kansas State Rifle Association.
Opponents of the bill say installing the security measures at all entry points of public buildings would be cost-prohibitive.
"Our security leaders here on campus believe that more guns on campus do not advance safety or more learning on campus," said Donald Beggs, president of Wichita State University.
Putting metal detectors and staff at entry points on the campus's almost 60 buildings and stadiums would detract from the campus' openness as well, he said.
Nearly 24,740 people are licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Kansas, according to the Attorney General's Office. The state began issuing concealed-carry permits in 2007.
"The process in general has worked very well because of our background check process," said Charles Sexson, the concealed-carry program's director.
Public buildings that want to bar permit holders now can do so by posting an approved "no gun" sign at entrances. The proposed law would require the security measures in addition to the signs.
Read the full story at Kansas.com