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Policy to allow concealed weapons on Kansas universities - KOAM TV 7

Policy to allow concealed weapons on Kansas universities

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

The Kansas Board of Regents unanimously approves a policy to allow concealed weapons on state university campuses. The policy will take effect in July 2017 and has started conversation on Pitt State's campus

Soon, as they pass each other on campus, Pitt State students may wonder if their peers are carrying a firearm. A new policy will replace an existing ban on concealed guns at state universities.

“There will be some restrictions in place but generally yeah, it will open up the exemption that kept that from happening on college campuses,” says director of university police Mike McCracken.

It will be up to individual universities to develop policies on safety and storage. The school will be able to ban firearms in certain buildings as long as there are metal detectors at each entrance, an expense the school will incur. And while it's too soon to say what the policies will be at PSU, faculty members have their own ideas on what buildings should remain gun free.

“Personal opinion, every single one. Chair's opinion, I don't think we have the funds to secure buildings,” says Barbara Bonnekessen, chair of the department of history, philosophy and social sciences.

A recent poll shows that 70 percent of Kansas’ state university faculty oppose concealed firearms on campus and at Pitt State, that seems to be true for both faculty and students.

“I think for the faculty one of the concerns is that if we start talking about inconvenient topics, scary topics that weapons might become unconcealed. That would really freeze discussion in classrooms,” adds Bonnekessen.

“It could be dangerous depending on the person, every person is different, every person has their own motives and beliefs,” says student Javier Luna.

“Pitt State’s a party college, it is, so that could lead to a lot of problems and accidents and hopefully nothing worse than just an accident,” says student Devin Ulrey.

And while the regents developed the policy amid strong criticism, there are students and faculty in support of the policy.

The social sciences department will be hosting an open discussion panel next Wednesday in Russ Hall. The event is open to the public.

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