We don’t want guns in our schools!

Shawnee Mission Area Council
Legislative Session 2013
ACTION:  Contact members of the Federal and State Affairs conference committee:
Ralph Ostmeyer
Jay Emler
Oletha Faust-Goudeau
Oletha.Faust-Goudeau@senate.ks.govHouse Representatives:
Arlen Siegfreid
Steve Brunk
Louis Ruiz

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.

Corresponding TipsE-mailing a member of the legislature is an especially easy and concise way to communicate with their office.

  • E-mails can be as short as a single paragraph urging your member to vote a certain way or to advocate for a certain issue.
  • Because they will only see your message on a computer screen and not in physical form, make sure the important information contained in your e-mail jumps out at them.
    • You can do this by putting what action you are requesting they take in the subject line (ex: NO on S sub HB2052). By doing this, even if the member or his/her staff does not take the time to you read your letter in its entirety, they will still have received the message.
  • Add your name and address at the end of the email.  Most will not respond to you if you are not their constituent.

Sample Phone Conversation


Caller: Hello, My name is _____ (your name) from ________ (City)

Staff Member: Wonderful, what can I do for you?

Caller: As a concerned member of the Kansas PTA, I oppose bill ___ and would like know the Committee chairs position? Will you please let the committee members know I oppose the bill for today’s potential vote.  (Feel free to insert any helpful information you might have at this time, in addition to why it is of concern. But remember, be brief!)

Staff Member: Congresswoman does/does not support _____. Thank you for sharing your concerns with us, I will relay your comments on to the members.

Caller: Thank you, have a great day

Things to Remember when Corresponding with  Representatives

  • Always be polite and courteous. Members and their legislative staff are considerably less likely to respond to rude letters.
  • Be as concise as possible. Remember that each office has dozens of legislative issues to cover and many constituent requests each day.
  • Include your home or work address in every letter, even in e-mails. Letters and e-mail with no return address are likely to be disregarded.
  • Thank the member for taking the time to read your letter.
  • Remember that correspondence with any elected official is about building an ongoing relationship and persuading them to think of you as a resource. Even if an elected official does not agree with your point of view on an issue today, they might in the future.

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