WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State University will allow guns on campus starting July 1, 2017.
Signs saying ‘open carrying of firearms is prohibited’ have been posted on nearly every WSU building door in preparation for the law change.
“It’s a little scary because personally I don’t like people having guns and knowing people can secretly carry guns and I don’t have to ask them about it or anything. It’s kind of scary just a little bit,” said WSU student Tien Bach.
“I know that a lot of people are responsible, so it’s kind of scary to think about the ones that aren’t responsible and what could happen to you in class if they aren’t,” said WSU student Brandi Lewis.
While many Wichita State students have voiced safety concerns about the new law which allows concealed carry weapons on campus, university officials told KSN they don’t expect much to change when the new policy takes effect on July 1.
“We really don’t think there will be that much change in people’s lives. Of course, there is going to be some awareness issues, some heightened concern,” said Wichita State General Counsel David Moses.
Wichita State has put on and will continue to hold educational forums to help ease people’s concerns about the law. Officials have also put in several safety measures including adequate security at campus events with more than 5,000 people.
The University said it is also warning people on campus to fully conceal their guns and make sure they are in the carrier’s control at all times. The weapon can be put in a secure storage device, however WSU will not have storage devices publicly available on campus.
“We are not going to be providing those. The law and the policies are all driven by, it’s your gun and its your responsibility to understand the rules and to make plans to handle it responsibly,” Moses said.
Moses added people lawfully possessing a handgun in residence halls or on-campus apartments must acquire their own approved handgun storage device. If a student does not feel comfortable living with a person who has a weapon, they can contact Housing and Residence Life Director Scott Jensen to make arrangements to move to another room.
Moses said the University is prepared to field calls about the new law.
“We are confident there are going to be people who are going to be reporting that there’s someone who is in violation of the carry conceal policy. It is not unusual when you have new laws that you have heightened awareness,” Moses said.
Anyone can report a firearm violation to University police by phone at 316-978-3450 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.