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Kansas House Committee Debates Banning Guns in Public Hospitals

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow public hospitals, mental facilities and nursing homes to ban concealed weapons.

Tuesday, a committee debated whether the state should allow the University of Kansas Health System to continue banning concealed guns in its facilities. Republican Representative John Barker proposed expanding that exemption to include other health care facilities.

“I think this is a reasonable approach, a balancing act. Rights are given to us," Barker says, "but we’ve always had some control."

A state law requires most public buildings to allow concealed weapons by this summer unless additional security measures are installed to keep out all guns.

Republican Representative Kristey Williams says people should be able to defend themselves while, for example, walking alone at night.

“There is just a little bit of slight fear there. Not everybody can understand that. I would feel safer having that Second Amendment right, privilege to just carry a firearm,” Williams says.

The committee will continue debate on the proposals Wednesday.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.