Express your opinion

Whether you are a physician, health system employee or concerned citizen, we encourage you to contact your state representative about the issue and express your thoughts. When you do, refer specifically to Senate Bill 210 or the Healthcare Security Act.

Call, write or email them. Make sure you identify yourself. And if you are a health system employee, it is appropriate to say so, but speak as a public citizen and not on behalf of our health system.

Kansas residents
  1. Find you State Representative and Senator.
    To do so, click here. 
  2. Enter your address to find your representatives’ names.
  3. Next, go to this web page. 
  4. Find your representative’s name, click on the name to find all contact information.

Residents of other states
Contact John Barker, Chair of the House Federal & State Affairs Committee.

Healthcare Security Act

At The University of Kansas Health System, the safety of our patients, families and staff is a primary concern. For this reason, we’d like to make you aware of the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act.

The act requires Kansas public buildings to allow concealed carry of weapons starting July 1, 2017. Concealed carry must be allowed unless adequate security measures are in place, such as metal detectors and armed guards at entrances. The concealed carry law applies to anyone in Kansas who is age 21 or older and lawfully eligible to carry a concealed handgun. 

To counter this, Senate Bill 210 would provide our health system an exemption from allowing concealed carry in our facilities. We refer to this bill as the Healthcare Security Act

How our facilities are affected

Because The University of Kansas Health System is an independent public authority, our facilities are considered to be quasi-public buildings. This means – unless state legislators exempt us from the law – we must start allowing concealed carry of weapons on July 1 in our hospital and clinic locations or we must increase security. 

With hundreds of entrances at our main campus and other facilities, this extremely costly step amounts to many millions – not to mention a tremendous burden and distraction to patients, guests and staff. This expenditure would reduce the funds available for other capital projects and jeopardize our ability to continue providing the most advanced care to patients with serious illnesses and injuries. Even so, that option would be far better than allowing concealed weapons in our buildings.

This law applies to nearly all locations in our health system – the main campus in Kansas City, Westwood and Indian Creek campuses, and locations in Shawnee, Mission and all satellite locations. The law does not apply to Missouri locations.   

Kansans support healthcare security

Last summer, our organization commissioned a survey of 500 registered voters in five counties in northeast Kansas – Wyandotte, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Atchison. Results showed overwhelming public opposition to concealed weapons in the hospital, regardless of political party, gender or age:

  • 82% say mental health facilities should be able to prohibit guns.
  • 72% say hospitals should be allowed to ban guns from their buildings.
  • 66% say public colleges should be allowed to prohibit concealed firearms.

Statements from our leadership team

Bob Page, President and CEO, The University of Kansas Health System"The issue has nothing to do with gun rights or gun control. It’s about the safety of our patients, visitors and staff. Patients and visitors are under tremendous stress while at the hospital. Our staff deals with tense, emotionally charged situations daily. The option to have guns present in those situations could create significant safety issues. " - Bob Page, President and CEO

Tammy Peterman, RN, FAAN, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer, The University of Kansas Health System
"My concern is our health system may not be positioned to continue our journey of excellence if guns are allowed into our organization. Our physicians, nurses and other caregivers are concerned this will change the environment which has helped us provide great patient outcomes and high patient satisfaction."
- Tammy Peterman, RN, FANN, Chief Operating Officer

Lee Norman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, The University of Kansas Health System"Patients and families experience some of life’s most emotional and devastating moments here. The presence of weapons in those situations isn’t beneficial to the patient or the doctor caring for them." - Lee Norman, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Support from the media 

Several leading news organizations also have voiced their opposition to allowing concealed weapons in our health system. 

  • The Kansas City Star, February 12 editorial
    “Even Texas, recognized as a stalwart for the Second Amendment, recognizes the unique challenges of medical centers. The famed MD Anderson Cancer Center allows concealed guns only in restricted areas, generally parking garages. By Texas law, loaded guns are not allowed where patients are treated at the center nor in the surrounding complex of medical buildings.” 
  • Kansas City Business Journal, Editor-In-Chief Brian Kaberline, January 27 editorial
    “We’re not talking about the basic right to own a gun or ability to defend one’s home. This is about whether a busy, emotionally charged facility is made safer or more dangerous by the introduction of firearms carried by people whose training and competency with those weapons (and, let’s be real, motives for carrying them) are unknown."