Campus Gun Laws Create Need for More Security Measures
For Kansas, a new gun law will allow for concealed carry almost anywhere in the state besides hospitals and college campuses when they go into effect. However, this law differs from others states’ as they require the sanctuary areas to increase security to prohibit firearms.
Starting July 1, anyone over the age of 21 will be allowed to carry a firearm onto university grounds in Kansas. It is set to be the first state where both campus carry and so-called “permitless” carry are legal. Gun owners will be able to bring guns onto campus even if they have not obtained a concealed-carry license.
For schools that want to keep firearms out of school stadiums or other facilities on campus, they must install “adequate security measures to ensure that no weapons are permitted to be carried into such building.” The law spells out “adequate” to include both metal sensors and the personnel to staff them.
Officials at three Kansas universities estimate the cost of updating their primary athletic venues at more than $2 million. The updates will include security measures such as metal detectors and barricades. That estimate does not include the cost to staff the new security checkpoints.
In Arkansas, a similar law was passed on April 4 that will go into effect on January 1, 2018. The campus-carry law sparked turmoil after an earlier version opened all campus areas — including stadiums — to concealed guns. Facing outrage from constituents and officials worried about the prospect of sanctions from the Southeastern Conference and National Collegiate Athletic Association against the University of Arkansas’s sports teams, legislators quickly passed an amended version of the law that allowed public colleges to have “firearms sensitive” areas but they’d have to pay for security features and have a safety plan approved by the State Police.
While public universities in Arkansas have not published their estimated costs of securing their athletic stadiums, security officials estimate that it will cost at least $500,000 to secure the University of Arkansas’ flagship Razorback Stadium.