Kansas Student Faces Charges For Possessing Gun In Dorm

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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There is a new issue in the debate over allowing concealed carry permit holders to take firearms into government buildings. A group of college students say they should have the right to keep a gun in their dorm rooms for protection. The issue is meeting resistence from school leaders and campus police. Now a Kansas college student could challenge the current law.

Kansas law gives citizens the option to protect themselves within their homes, but what if your home is a university dorm room? Should students be allowed to carry a gun in their 'home?'

Right now, Douglas County prosecutors are deciding whether to file charges against a 22 year-old KU student for possessing a gun in his dorm room, which he considers his home. The Supreme Court has always ruled that it's a fundamental right for a resident to possess a firearm for protection in his home, but Wichita State University Vice President for Campus Life and University Relations somewhat disagrees.

"It's where they live. I don't know if it's their home, from that perspective. They all come from different places," said VP Wade Robinson. "So what you call home and where you live while you're going to school, we're splitting hairs. It's technical differences."

On the WSU campus, everyone we spoke with was against the idea of allowing students or citizens to have guns anywhere on campus.

"I feel it's a bit unnecessary because, say they have a problem that escalates and they may be more apt to use it instead of going to university authorities to properly solve the issue," said student Clinton Liddell.

"It's somewhere I'm living and it's not like I know everyone in here," explained Michaela Dapperish. "I don't know how other people react and so I wouldn't want someone to have a gun and, say I make them mad and they overreact."

But Robinson, the WSU vice president, says when you consider the argument as a whole and dissect the facts, the outcome is usually always the same.

"Clearly you're best served as a campus not to have weapons of any kind," Robinson said. "Certainly not guns and ammunition on campus. When you have that reasonable discussion, I think that's the conclusion that people come to."

During the last session in Topeka, the Kansas Legislature tabled the bill that was up for discussion, so nothing will happen anytime soon. For future sessions of the legislature, however, these decisions and discussions will likely keep coming up.

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