Kansas lawmakers attempt to keep guns out of hospitals

Kansas lawmakers have proposed a bill to try and keep guns out of Kansas’ state and public hospitals before a state law takes effect July 1 that would allow guns in hospital buildings.

The proposal, Senate Bill 235, had a hearing Thursday before the Kansas Senate budget committee and would authorize officials of Kansas’ state and public hospitals to continue banning firearms on their premises.

As reported by the Kansas City Star, University of Kansas Health System CEO Bob Page said patients have already voiced concerns about the law taking effect in July and that the Kansas University Hospital would be the only one to allow guns in the Kansas City Area.

Page indicated he was “cautiously optimistic” about the bill’s chances of passing.

Kansas enacted a law in 2013 allowing concealed firearms in public buildings, but colleges and public hospitals were among the few places granted a four-year exemption, which is set to end July 1.

The Kansas State Rifle Association have opposed repeated efforts to keep guns off campuses and out of hospitals, including the latest measure.

“It is naive to assume that there are not already guns in these facilities,” said Brett Hildabrand, a lobbyist for the rifle association.

If the newest bill ultimately fails, Kansas state and public hospitals could still ban guns by installing metal detectors and posting armed security officers at their entrances. However, hospital officials say such a move would prove to be very costly.