Bill Extending Gun Ban in Kan. Hospitals Passed by Lawmakers

It is unclear if Governor Sam Brownback will sign the bill into law.

Kansas lawmakers passed a bill last week that will prohibit concealed carry permit holders from bringing guns into public hospitals and mental health facilities.

The bill would extend an exemption for healthcare facilities to a 2013 gun law that was set to expire next month. If Kansas Governor Sam Brownback vetoes the bill, those facilities will have to begin allowing concealed handguns on their campuses or meet certain security standards laid out in the 2013 law.

The security standards, which include armed guards and metal detectors at entrances, were expected to be too expensive for most public facilities in the state, reports The Kansas City Star.

But now that both chambers of Congress have approved an extension to the exemption, Governor Brownback must decide if hospital gun policies should remain unchanged. The governor can sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

So far, Governor Brownback has given no indication as to whether or not he will sign the bill.

“These are heartfelt, difficult issues,” Brownback said. “This is a strong second amendment state so you’re trying to address those issues.”

The legislation passed with bipartisan support. The House of Representatives passed the bill with 91 votes out of 125 legislators, which is a veto-proof majority, but the Senate passed the bill with just 24 votes of support out of 40 legislators, leaving Brownback’s veto option on the table.

The National Rifle Association has lobbied strongly against the bill. The University of Kansas Health System was among the bill’s proponents.

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