Kansas’ governor defends state’s new guns-on-campus law
Topeka Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he's not second-guessing a new state law that would require college campuses to allow concealed weapons, calling it a constitutional right.
Kansas lawmakers passed and Brownback signed into law in 2013 a bill mandating that concealed weapons be allowed in nearly all public buildings unless they have security measures including metal detectors — an option broadly considered cost-prohibitive. Public colleges and universities were given until mid-2017 to comply.
The University of Kansas' chancellor and 70 of that school's distinguished professors publicly have spoken out against the law, along with faculty at Kansas State University and other institutions.
But Brownback, a Republican, told the Lawrence Journal-World during a recent interview that the matter is "a Second Amendment right."
"Some people would look at some things I suppose under any constitutional right and question it, but it remains a constitutional right," he said, adding that he does not believe imposing restrictions on gun rights improves public safety.
The Kansas Board of Regents, during its meeting next month, is to consider and likely approve a broad outline of how concealed weapons will be allowed on Kansas college campuses.
Last April, Brownback signed into law a measure authorizing people to carry concealed weapons without a permit or any mandatory gun safety training, provided they are not otherwise legally barred from owning a firearm.
Kansas is among eight states that allow carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures database. Missouri and 18 other states ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, although two Republican lawmakers in Missouri recently proposed legislation to lift that state's ban. Twenty-three other states leave the decision up to the individual college or university.