State revisits concealed carry permits on campuses
- Jan. 30, 2013
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A University student’s 21st birthday means they can finally drink alcohol legally, as well as start packing heat. A bill allowing concealed carry permits on college campuses is likely to reemerge in this session of the Kansas legislature, said student body president Hannah Bolton.
“All the leaders from the Kansas Board of Regents Schools are in opposition to the concealed carry bill,” Bolton said.
She will meet legislators on Feb. 11 as part of the annual higher education lobby, which advocates for legislation on behalf of University students.
“We are trying to fight against having concealed carry on campus,” Bolton said.
Students are not allowed to bring weapons on campus, but they may store their weapons at the KU Office of Public Safety, located on west campus.
“We realize that different students have different hobbies, and hunting’s one of them,” said KU Police Chief Ralph Oliver. “We try to accommodate both bows and rifles.”
Oliver said the number of students who keep their weapons on campus tends to be low and varies by season.
Regarding concealed carry permits, Oliver did not think allowing guns in the classroom would benefit students at the University.
“I don’t think bringing concealed weapons on campus makes a student safer,” Oliver said.
Obtaining a permit
Students 21 and older who are U.S. citizens and Kansas residents can apply for a concealed carry permit after completing a weapons safety and training course, according to the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.
The course may be sponsored by the National Rifle Association, law enforcement agencies or any other institution approved by the attorney general’s office, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
After completion, permit seekers must fill out a license application answering questions regarding criminal history, child abuse, drug use and mental illness. Implication in such activities could result in denial of application.
Permit-seekers submit the weapons safety and training course certificate, application, $132.50 worth of state fees and fingerprint to the the local sheriff’s office., The documents are then forwarded to the attorney general’s office, which runs background checks on applicants before they may be approved. The approval process takes approximately 45 days to complete, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Marshall Schmidt is a graduate student majoring in biomedical engineering from Mount Hope. Read more from Marshall Schmidt.