Hospitals expect a high cost for allowing concealed guns

No guns sign (KSN File Photo)

LYONS, Kan. (KSNW) – Rice County District Hospital has “No guns allowed” signs posted at every entrance. Starting July 1, these signs will be taken down and guns could be allowed in — something the CEO said he has concerns about when it comes to the safety of everyone in the hospital.

“We’re in a place of emotion, and sometimes those emotions run high,” said George Stover.

The hospital board is now reviewing safety measures to continue to keep their patients and staff safe, which includes the possibility of installing metal detectors and having security guards at each of their five public entrances. However, that’s an expensive option.

“To put metal detectors, security guards…would be so cost prohibitive, that would be a decision that  we’d have to take very seriously,” Stover said.

The Board hasn’t looked into cost yet, but Stover estimated it would be just under a million dollars to pay for the added security.

“For the most part, it would come from operations, but it could very well come from the taxpayers,” he added.

According to Stover, the board will be meeting soon the discuss if they want additional security.

He knows their hospital, like many in rural areas of the state, will be looking closely at the price tag.

“We just don’t have excess amount of cash flow,” he said.

So far, the hospital hasn’t had any issues with guns. Stover said that doesn’t mean they won’t be faced with it in the future. He wants the public to know that safety is his main priority, and this is a decision the board will be taking seriously.

On Wednesday, Kansas lawmakers rejected a bill that would keep concealed guns out of public hospitals and university campuses after June. The state law requires that hospitals and universities allow adults 21 and older to carry concealed weapons into the building, if that building doesn’t already have security measures in place.