Politics & Government

Gun lobby turns to Kansas Senate to kill restriction on campus carry

After losing in the House, Kansas’ leading pro-gun organization is turning up the heat on the Senate to shoot down an amendment that would require a permit to carry a concealed weapon on a college campus.

The Kansas State Rifle Association, the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association, has issued an “action alert” to its members, asking them to contact senators and drum up opposition in advance of a hearing Tuesday on House Bill 2042.

The bill started as a measure that would allow people between the ages of 18 and 21 to carry concealed weapons if they have a permit from another state.

But as it made its way through the House, Rep. Clay Aurand, R-Belleville, succeeded in amending it to require a permit to carry a gun on state college and university campuses.

Current law requires no permit for a person 21 or older to carry concealed on campus.

Supporters of the Aurand amendment say they see it as a fair compromise that allows campus carry, but keeps it to those who pass safety training and criminal background checks.

The rifle associations say it’s an assault on constitutional rights.

“While other necessary provisions of HB2042 prevent us from urging that the entire bill be scrapped, it's crucial that the Senate remove the dangerous Aurand amendment when they have the opportunity to do so,” the group’s action alert said. “We will urge that they do so when we testify in the Senate Committee.”

The alert included email links to all the members of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, who will take testimony on the bill Tuesday.