FLINT HILLS, KANSAS — One technical college is having a serious discussion about how they plan to alter policy to come into compliance with new Kansas legislation allowing concealed carry on campus.
via Emporia Gazette
“At this point we don’t have a choice, this is something that our attorney has drawn up,” Jacinda Kahle, director of Human Resources said. “If nothing changes, then July 1 we have to abide by it.”
The governor of Kansas recently signed a bill into law which would require public universities and colleges to allow concealed carry on campus. These public institutions are now beholden to alter any existing policy they have forbidding the public from carrying firearms onto their property.
Flint Hills has taken an aggressive approach to defining those parameters.
“Any person may be held responsible to disciplinary action, including but not limited to dismissal from the college and criminal prosecution for:
- Intentionally displaying a concealed handgun without cause or reason.
- Possession of a handgun under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering drugs.
- Leaving or storing, intentionally or unintentionally, a firearm in a location not authorized by the policy.
- Accidental or unintentional discharge of a firearm on college property.
- Threatening or verbalizing, even in jest, to shoot another person with a concealed handgun (other than in self-defense).”
Because administrators and board members appear apprehensive of the new law, they seem to be taking steps to mitigate the number of students that need to come to campus in the first place.
“All of our general education courses, except for the upper-level science courses, will now be offered online,” Kim Dhority, dean of instructional services, said. “So students, even if they are not on campus, can take those courses. We have high school students from across the state taking those courses.”
As more public universities and colleges are forced to adopt measures that they may be otherwise leery of, we’ll likely see more of this across the country. In Arkansas, the state university system was recently forced to adjust their policy to the new presence of concealed carriers. They are depending upon the state police to develop a curriculum for an enhanced training course required of all licensed concealed carriers prior to carrying concealed on campus. In addition, certain areas will be off limits to concealed carriers. Those places include collegiate sporting events, residence halls, and day cares.
I feel that most of these situations will require people who carry concealed onto campus to be overly educated as to the policies of those institutions prior to walking on the property. I don’t know many people who sit down and read through hundreds of pages of dry text to find the section pertaining to just them but licensed concealed carriers may have to do precisely that if they want to avoid getting stuck in bad situations with the law and the education system.
I’m glad that public universities and colleges are no longer allowed to act as if they are in some special classification above the law but I’m also wary of the potential pitfalls that may await concealed carriers if they either do not familiarize themselves with those policies or the institutions — either purposefully or accidentally — don’t make those policies very clear to the students, faculty, and guests coming onto the campus.