ACTION: Contact members of the Federal and State Affairs conference committee:
Action Alert – Concealed Carry
Two bills regarding concealed carry in schools will be heard in the Federal and State Affairs conference committee on Monday, April 1st 1:00 PM, room 144-South
The task of the committee is to meld the bills for final action. HB 2055 exempts school districts from allowing public concealed carry. S Sub for HB2052 does not exempt school districts unless specific security measures, meaning the use of electronic equipment (such as metal detectors or metal detector wands), are provided.
HB 2055 – Concealed carry in public buildings. Requires all public buildings to allow concealed carry of handguns unless building has specific security measures, exempts school districts. The bill was amended to provide school districts the local option to determine if employees and staff could carry their concealed weapons into the school buildings. This bill passed in the Kansas House.
S Sub for HB2052 – An act concerning firearms, dealing with the personal and family protection act. Requires all public buildings to allow concealed carry of handguns unless building has specific security measures. It does not exempt school districts. The bill allows educational institutions to permit a licensed employee to concealed carry. This bill passed in the Kansas Senate.
The SMSD opposes these bills. The district has joined the Defense of our Schools Summit a partnership of area schools and law enforcement officials focusing on keeping schools and campuses safe. The district currently employs officers trained by the Kansas Police Academy at each of our middle and high schools. Police officers in each of the district’s elementary schools would be a significant annual expense.
National PTA recognizes the importance of a safe learning environment in attaining the highest level of student learning and achievement. National PTA believes the most effective day-to-day school climate to be gun-free, but defers to local collaborative decision-making to allow for the presence of law enforcement deployed in community-oriented policing.
Examples of ways to improve youth safety and to restrict guns to only responsible owners include advocating for the following:
- gun safety locks and other safety devices to prevent young children from accidentally discharging a gun
- alternative educational settings for youth who have brought a firearm to school, along with appropriate evaluation and counseling
- restrict Internet gun sales, including kits that can be used to make/modify guns
- enforce federal and state minimum age requirements for handgun purchases
- raise the minimum age to 21 to be allowed to buy a handgun from non-licensed dealers
- allow at least three business days to conduct background checks
- require non-licensed dealers to conduct background checks and fill out proper paperwork so that guns can be traced
- increase penalties for the transfer of handguns or semiautomatic assault weapons to juveniles for use in a crime
- revoke the license of dealers who knowingly sell to minors
- establish education programs to teach students, parents, and community members about gun safety and violence prevention
- prevent juveniles who commit violent crimes from buying guns as adults
These and other measures are some of the ways National PTA believes that gun violence can be decreased in order to make our schools, as well as our communities, safer. National PTA believes we must enact legislation that will reduce gun violence and help protect all children and youth.