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Students Say They Want Tighter Restrictions on Concealed Carry Laws

By Madison Coker

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas’ new concealed carry laws have only been in effect for six months, but some students already want to see improvements.

KU senior Libby Smith says she supports campus concealed carry, and when the law changed she immediately started the process of getting her license. However, Smith says she wants to see more restrictions put into place.

“I do think that there should be more of a permit that students have to carry on them if they are also going to carry a weapon,” Smith said.

Other students agree with Smith. In a poll conducted on KUJH’s Facebook page, 100 percent of responders want to see more restrictions when it comes to concealed carry.

Kansas State Democratic Representative Dennis Highberger says Kansas is the only state in the country that allows students to carry guns on campus without any permit or training. He says as people expect these rights, the need to know they come with responsibilities and carrying a permit and having training should be a part of that.

“I think there is a majority in favor in that,” Rep. Highberger said. “Whether there is a super majority in case of a veto… that’s another question.”

Representative Highberger says he is working on a bill that would at least prevent people from leaving the weapons unattended.

However, Kansas State Republican Representative Tom Sloan says unfortunately, he does not think anything will get passed this year in regards to gun control. He says the leaders in the capitol like Governor Sam Brownback and Secretary of State Kris Kobach are not interested in it.

“I believe they will minimize the prospects of passing any such legislation,” Rep. Sloan said.

Smith says other students should look into taking classes on how to properly use a gun. She says not only do the classes teach you how to operate it safely, they teach you how to carry it safely.

“When KU starting allowing the concealed carry, I went through the intro courses to concealed carry and it was really beneficial,” Smith said. “As students are going to carry a weapon or are considering carrying a weapon and getting their concealed carry they should also should have to go through some sort of training.”

Representatives say they are ready to focus on big issues like gun control and gun restrictions when the legislative session resumes January 8.

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