Gun Bill Debated in Kansas

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. –  If you legally own a gun in Kansas, you’re one step closer to being able to carry it into state or city buildings. Critics argue these buildings don’t have adequate security measures. That controversial bill passed 70 to 54 in the House Monday.

Since it’s introduction, those in education have fought against. Johnson County Community College has 22 buildings with multiple entrances and exits. Imagine what would happen if JCCC is forced to install metal detectors and hire personnel to monitor each one.

“It would be pretty tough on students because they would be lining up by buildings to go to their classes and they’d have to go through a metal detector much like you do if you go to court,” said Dr. Jerry Wolfskill, Associate Vice President of Public Safety.

It’s one of the reasons, along with an expensive start-up cost and maintenance, that the community college has been opposed to a the bill. If passed, the bill would allow people with concealed carry permits, to bring their guns into public buildings that aren’t protected by metal detectors and security guards.

Rep. Valdenia Winn, D-Kansas City, voted against it.

“I hated the underlying deal. I’m going to vote against it and I voted against it today,” said Winn.

Winn said this version included exempting institutions of higher education.  But as a professor herself , she said she was afraid of retaliation for something like giving out a well-deserved bad grade, so she voted it down.

“I’m saying, out of fear, I don’t want this right to bear arms in college,” she said.

But Rep. Owen Donahoe, R-Shawnee, says the bill’s intention is to help remove that fear.

“People feel they have to take means to protect themselves, that’s what the constitution supports and that’s why I supported it,” Donahoe said.

The bill heads to the Senate.

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