A state law allowing concealed guns on public university campuses starting July 1, 2017, has divided students at Kansas State. The Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act was passed in 2013, which states that unless a public building has “adequate security,” including metal detectors or security guards, people are allowed to carry concealed guns inside that building.
The student group, Kansas State University Against Campus Carry, said it plans to start conversations on campus about the upcoming policy and help prevent it from taking effect by working with the Kansas Legislature and representatives and creating an alternative policy.
Kansas law also allows people over age 21 to carry a gun without a permit or license, as long as it is concealed. Many individuals are concerned with guns being allowed on campuses without licenses or training, as well as other consequences.
Although he said he loves guns, Adam Alexander, sophomore in criminology, said he does not agree with the policy.
“Having them on campus without any training … is completely idiotic,” Alexander said. “It’s like driving a car without a license.”
Through working with Kansas State University Against Campus Carry, Alexander said he hopes to lobby lawmakers to make a change to the policy.
Like Alexander, Jenny Tammera, graduate student in English, also said she has concerns with the new policy. Tammera said she does not want the law to go into effect because she thinks it is dangerous.
“To think of (guns) in the dorms is scary,” Tammera said.
On the other hand, Daniel Jackson, sophomore in anthropology, said the new policy will make him feel more safe on campus.
“I personally feel much safer knowing that some people in my class may also be equipped with a weapon in case of an emergency,” Jackson said.
Caleb Deines, sophomore in psychology, said the new policy worries him.
“Adding more guns to a situation adds more fuel to the fire,” Deines said.
Lexi Walstad, junior in nutrition and health, said she is pro-gun control and allowing guns on campus does make her worry as well.
Although the exemption for college campuses to the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act does not end until July 1, 2017, the student group members said they hope to create more conversation about the subject on campus and gain more support from fellow students.
In the upcoming semester, members of Kansas State University Against Campus Carry said they plan to hold roundtable discussions and open forums in order to create conversations between those who support the policy and those who oppose it.