Hutchinson College Exploring Exemption From Concealed Carry Law

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Hutchinson Community College Board of Trustees is considering an exemption from the new concealed carry handgun legislation that passed last month.

The new state law states that concealed carry "shall not be prohibited in any state or municipal building unless the building has adequate security measures to ensure that no weapons are permitted to be carried into such building."

One of the provisions to the law allows for certain institutions to seek an exemption to further study the issue.

The college's president, Dr. Ed Berger, said they want the four year long exemption to study the implications behind the new state law.

"We appreciate very much that the legislation provides us a four year window to do a study. It provides us the four year window to do an evaluation of what concealed carry on campus would mean," said Berger.

The main campus on 13th and Plum Street is currently guarded by one full time security officer, who is unarmed. The college also added more lighting around the main campus last year.

The Student Government Association president said she feels safe even without the new law that goes into effect July 1.

"My hope is that we do not have guns on campus, but if they decide that's what we need then I will be fine with that decision as well," said Erica Gianakon.

The Board of Trustees will meet on June 13 and will likely adopt the resolution to seek the exemption.

If the state's attorney general grants the exemption, then the college would have until 2017 to either get "adequate security" or allow concealed carry weapons on campus.

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