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First year for legal conceal and carry at Kansas universities begins

Posted: 7:19 AM, Aug 18, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-18 08:45:36-04

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Fall semester students are moving into dorm rooms at the University of Kansas for the first time since a law allowing people to conceal and carry guns on campus went into effect in July.

Lawmakers who support this act believe someone with a gun could stop an active shooter or derail a potential violent situation.

41 Action News caught up with some students at KU's dorms as they moved in.

"I believe there was a shooting at a community college in Oregon, and somebody in the room had a gun but didn't use it in the entire situation," said Aroog Khaliq, a freshman who was moving into her dorm room.

Another future freshman, Garnet Peeler, said she understood the idea that concealed carry weapons could prevent a problem; however, she was not totally convinced young students would execute that.

"That comes down to using your judgment. I'm not sure everybody has the right judgment or training in fact," said Peeler.

Kansas law dictates only people 21 and older can conceal guns in public. Federal regulation bars people with nonimmigrant visas from possessing firearms.

This is in accordance with the Personal and Family Protection Act. Public universities and most state and municipal building's exemption from allowing concealed guns ended last month.

Even so, most parents and students were not supportive of anyone over the age of 21 being able to conceal guns on campus.

"I'm against carrying concealed weapons anywhere. The more you don't have it, the better it is for the country and for the students and for the citizens," explained Walter D'Souza, who's freshman daughter will start classes at KU Monday.

KU did not want to speak to 41 Action News on camera, but its website said safety is its top priority.

According to KU's website, 82 percent of its faculty and staff do not want guns on campus or in their classrooms.

Just over two-thirds of KU's student body is ineligible to carry a concealed handgun.

  • 59% of undergrads at Lawrence & Edwards campuses are younger than 21
  • 9.2% of KU Lawrence & Edwards students are international students

Concealed guns will be allowd in residence halls at KU as well. Fewer than 400 students and staff living in the dorms meet the age requirement, with 330 of them living in Jayhawk Towers.

The university said guns wll not be allowed at sports games, in police facilities or other places where there is "adequate security."  Adequate security may be the use of metal detectors or wands, or where they already have security guards.

A meeting scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday morning in the Alderson Auditorium aims to help faculty and staff discuss how to work somewhere that allows concealed weapons.

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