February 26, 2016
Weapons Advisory Work Group update
In my last weapons advisory work group update to campus, I shared information about the five subgroups that were being formed by the work group. Thanks to support from the Faculty, University Support Staff and Student Senate leadership, we had an overwhelming response from faculty, staff and students with nearly 100 volunteers agreeing to serve as subgroup members. View subgroup membership.
The Kansas Board of Regents policy allows each state university to determine whether and to what extent lawfully possessed concealed carry handguns will be prohibited in any campus buildings or areas of buildings by provision of adequate security measures. It is important to remember that concealed carry should only be restricted where it is absolutely necessary and feasible. The law defines adequate security measures as "the use of electronic equipment and personnel at public entrances…including, but not limited to, metal detectors, metal detector wands or any other equipment used for similar purposes."
On Feb. 23, the work group hosted an orientation session and charged the subgroups to develop recommendations in response to the following questions:
- Recommendations for a list of specific areas where it is necessary and feasible to restrict concealed carry.
a. Rationale for restricting concealed carry at those specific locations.
b. Would concealed carry be restricted temporarily or permanently?
c. What specific adequate security measures should be used — type of equipment, personnel, signage?
d. Any recommended provisions for the safe possession and storage of lawful concealed carry handguns.
2. General recommendations for how and where to report suspected violations of the university weapons policy.
3. General recommendations for how to notify faculty, staff and students regarding the university's concealed carry policies.
4. General recommendations for the university to educate and train the campus community on firearm safety.
Subgroup recommendations are due back to the work group by mid-April. The work group is planning an open forum in late-April to share the recommendations and receive input from the campus community. Over the summer, the work group will revise the university weapons policy using the recommendations and feedback. President's Cabinet will review the draft and recommend changes in August before the final draft is shared with the campus community early fall semester. President Kirk Schulz will finalize the policy before it is submitted for approval by the Regents Governance Committee in October 2016.
Allowing concealed carry on our campus is an emotional issue for many of us. Regardless of our personal opinions of the law, our task as a university is to determine how K-State can comply with the amended Board of Regents policy and the state law. Campus input is crucial as the subgroups begin developing recommendations to revise the university's weapons policy. I encourage you to share your suggestions, questions or concerns with members of the subgroups or through the Vice President for Administration and Finance's webpage.