Kansas College Hospitals Preparing to Allow Guns on Campus
The hospitals plan to hire additional police officers and to ban guns in certain buildings.
Kansas hospitals affiliated with universities have begun working on policies to comply with a recent state law that will allow people to bring guns on college campuses beginning in July 2017.
Although metal detectors may not seem like an especially expensive investment in some facilities, for the Kansas University Medical Center, which has large campuses with many entrances, the requirement may not be practical.
KU Medical Center Vice Chancellor Doug Girod says hospitals face a particularly difficult challenge complying with the new law and maintaining security.
“We have some vulnerable populations that are harder to protect. I mean, we’ve got patients stuck in a hospital, they aren’t going to get up and flee. We have children. We have pregnant mothers,” Girod said. “The spectrum is very broad so healthcare is certainly a unique environment.”
People opposing the law have argued students are too immature and emotional to be permitted to carry weapons on campus. Girod said he’s worried about unintended discharges in his hospital’s buildings.
Supporters of the new law see it as a pathway to ensuring better security on campuses.
“If you don’t provide security then you shouldn’t deny the public’s right to provide their own,” State Sen. Forrest Knox said.
Officials at KU’s Medical Center said they expect to hire additional police officers to patrol the hospital and restrict guns in certain buildings.
It’s estimated that nearly 7,000 students and staff, along with hundreds of patients, enter the KU medical complex every day.
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