June 10, 2023

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Kansas Universities to Purchase Metal Detectors

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Three public Kansas universities will install metal detectors at some sporting events. The Kansas Board of Regents approved the plans to ban guns at college football, basketball, and some baseball games on April 19.

The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University officials requested authorization to purchase metal detectors and other security equipment just before a Kansas law exemption that allows the schools to ban guns in public places expires. The law allows universities and other public institutions to ban concealed weapons only when adequate security measures, like metal detectors staffed by armed guards, are in place to prevent anyone from bringing in a concealed firearm.

The law exempted public universities and hospitals until July 1 to allow officials time to install security equipment and adopt weapon policies.

K-State Head Football Coach Bill Snyder surveys the field during a game. K-State and other public Kansas universities plan to install metal detectors at sporting events to prohibit concealed guns.

KU officials said they intend to spend about $1 million on metal detectors and other security measures. It will prohibit concealed weapons at basketball and football games. K-State said it intends to purchase 70 metal detectors, and Wichita State officials said they plan to buy up to 20 metal detectors for $3,600 apiece for use primarily at basketball gamesand some baseball games.

Only one Board of Regents member, Shane Bangerter of Dodge City, opposed the plan.

Kansas National Rifle Association lobbyist Brett Hildabrand, a former state legislator, said he supports the Regents’ decision.

“We have always been supportive of this as an option,” he said. “The point of the legislation was to provide a high level of safety for people in public facilities, whether that be through additional security measures or allowing conceal carry.”

Kansas’ three other public universities–Pittsburg State University, Fort Hays State University, and Emporia State University–did not make requests to the Kansas Board of Regents to ban guns at sporting events.



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