Kansas House could debate guns at colleges, hospitals
By ALLISON KITE
Apr. 03, 2017
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Opponents of concealed carry at Kansas hospitals and universities hope an eleventh-hour gun debate will give them a chance to change the law that's set kick in this summer.
Some lawmakers started an effort in January to roll back the controversial concealed carry policy, but several bills never got a vote or were voted down in committees.
House members could hash out the options in a floor debate if they approve a motion to put another gun bill on the debate calendar. The bill would require Kansas recognize concealed carry permits from other states. It doesn't address carrying in hospitals and college campuses, but both supporters and opponents of the concealed carry law could amend it on the floor.
The move comes as officials from the University of Kansas Hospital and the National Rifle Association struggle to find a compromise. The hospital doesn't want to allow concealed guns in its facilities, and gun rights supporters contend it has to allow guns unless officials can ensure no one brings a gun in by stationing metal detectors and armed guards at entrances.
Majority Leader Don Hineman didn't schedule a debate while groups were looking for a compromise. But Minority Leader Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, made a motion Monday to force a debate before lawmakers leave for a three-week break.
Republican Rep. Stephanie Clayton of Overland Park introduced a bill in January to exempt colleges and several types of medical facilities from the law indefinitely, but it never got a committee vote. She said lawmakers who oppose guns in hospitals and at colleges could attach amendments on the floor exempting the facilities.
Lawmakers passed a law in 2013 allowing concealed guns in public buildings that do not have security such as metal detectors, but they gave the colleges and medical facilities until July 1 of this year to comply.
Republican Rep. Blake Carpenter of Derby said pro-gun rights lawmakers would also likely attach amendments to the bill, but he wouldn't discuss what the amendments might do. He introduced a bill that would strip universities of the ability to make any policies regarding how and where people carry guns on campus, but it also hasn't gotten a committee vote.