January 19, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Legislation introduced today to revise the Kansas Conceal and Carry law has been endorsed by The University of Kansas Hospital.
The House bill, introduced by the Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee, would, if approved, exempt the state's only academic hospital from the law allowing concealed weapons in its buildings.
The existing law is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2017, as part of a general expansion of concealed weapons locations, but the proposed legislation would exempt The University of Kansas Hospital from that requirement.
Under current law, The University of Kansas Hospital will be the only hospital in the Kansas City metropolitan area to be required to allow concealed weapons. The current law targets only hospitals owned by any level of government, so The University of Kansas Hospital is the only Kansas-side public hospital in the metropolitan area.
"The issue has nothing to do with gun rights or gun control. It is about the safety of our patients, visitors and staff. Our 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," says Bob Page, president and chief executive officer of The University of Kansas Hospital.
Page says the hospital has increased the number of commissioned police officers on duty and enhanced other security measures over the last four years to ensure the safety of everyone who visits the hospital's campuses.
In addition, Page says a survey of counties surrounding the Kansas City area showed overwhelming support for removing The University of Kansas Hospital from concealed weapons requirements, even among gun owners.