University of Kansas and Kansas State University play their first football games of the season on Saturday, and some may be wondering: Will guns be allowed inside the stadiums?
The answer is no. Metal detectors and armed security will be in place at both schools’ stadiums to assure that doesn’t happen.
Even after parents and students opted to attend a Kansas college, knowing that for the first time this year state law lets anyone who’s at least 21 carry a concealed gun in classrooms and dormitories, some still wonder what the concealed carry rules are.
University of Kansas officials said that since the fall session began they’ve gotten a substantial number of questions from the campus community regarding guns.
In response, the university is hosting a series of public sessions to reiterate the do’s and do nots for navigating a campus that is no longer a gun-free zone.
The KU Office of Diversity & Equity, the provost’s office and KU Public Safety organized the meetings being held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Alderson Auditorium; from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 5; and from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Big 12 Room at the student union.
“What we’re looking at is, how do we help people feel comfortable and in control with the new environment that they are in?” Jill Hummels, communications manager at the KU provost office told the Lawrence Journal World.
A state law allowing fire arms in public buildings was originally passed in 2013, but Kansas universities had been exempt for four years. The law kicked in for 2- and 4-year colleges as of July 1.
What’s allowed now is that age-eligible faculty and students and visitors can carry a concealed handgun — long guns are prohibited — in any campus building except those with “adequate security measures” such as metal detectors and armed security guards. Because of cost, few campus buildings are secured in this way.
At KU, guns are not allowed at athletic events when more than 5,000 people attend. And they’re not allowed at the main University of Kansas Medical Center campus at 39th and Rainbow in Kansas City, Kansas.
Lt. Bradli Millington, with the Kansas State University Police Department, said that handguns will not be allowed at Bramlage Coliseum or at the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Metal detectors and wands will be used at all entrances.
“Basically, it’ll be what Kauffman and Arrowhead do,” Millington said, referring to the Kansas City professional league stadiums where the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs play.
“It's going to be at every entrance. If you come in, you get screened. If you leave and come back later, you'll get screened again.”
These latest public meetings at KU are not the first to be held at KU.
Over the past two years the university has held several information meetings where they heard concerns from professors about being alone in their office with a gun-toting student upset about a low grade, and from students worried about having to room with a student who carries a handgun in their backpack to class everyday or keeps one in tucked in box in their room.
A survey done in 2015 showed that the vast majority — 82 percent of faculty and staff — do not want guns on campus.
With the law as it is, the Kansas Board of Regents has made online weapons policy training available to all faculty, staff, students and general community.
But here are some fast rules you should know:
▪ Brandishing any firearm is prohibited.
▪ Anyone at least 21 can carry a concealed handgun on campus. But a gun cannot be carried by someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a degree they are incapable of safely operating the weapon.
Nor can one be carried by a person who is addicted to drugs, has mental illness, is a felon or been incarcerated a year or more, discharged dishonorably from the U.S. Armed Forces, or been convicted of even misdemeanor domestic violence.
▪ Undocumented residents can not carry a concealed handgun.
▪ Gun lockers are not provided by the university. Individuals are responsible for safe storage of their weapons in residence halls and before entering an area where guns are not allowed.
▪ University policy requires that concealed handguns be in a holster that completely covers the trigger area, and secures the hammer in an uncocked position with a strap. Revolvers must be carried with the hammer resting on an empty cylinder.
▪ Semiautomatic handguns must be carried without a chambered round of ammunition. For all guns, the safety mechanism must be engaged if it has one.
▪ Long guns, such as rifles and shotguns are not allowed anywhere on campus, whether concealed or openly carried.
▪ A professor can require that backpacks, purses and bags be left unattended and away from students “when class rules require” or during test taking, but prior notice of this rule must have been given. At which point students who carry a handgun in a purse or backpack would either have to transfer the handgun to a concealed holster on their body or transfer the firearm to a secure location such as a gun safe in their residence or the trunk of their locked vehicle.
▪ During the semester, housing staff will work with students who request a transfer to a different housing assignment.
▪ When not being carried a concealed handgun must be stored in a secure storage device, such as a gun safe.
▪ Violators of campus gun policy may be issued a lawful directive to leave campus with the weapon immediately.
By the way, the KU Jayhawks play at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence at 6 p.m. on Saturday, K-State Wildcats play at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan at 6:10 p.m.
Questions regarding Kansas college policies can be directed to the university police for the particular campus.