Personal and Family Protection Act sparks concern over student responsibility

Brenden Williams

In 2012, Kansas legislators passed the Personal and Family Protection Act, designed to give citizens the right to carry guns without a conceal and carry permit. College campuses were given a four year extension, with the law to take effect on college campuses across the state July 1, 2017.

Prior to the passing of the Personal and Family Protection Act, state gun laws required citizens to have a conceal and carry license to carry a firearm in public. Passed in 2012 and enacted in 2013, this new law made it so anyone of age may carry a weapon in public without a permit.

College campuses’ four year extension does not require them to allow students to carry guns on university grounds for another two years. However, because of the recent Umpqua Community College massacre in Oregon, some legislators have mentioned expatiating the process and cutting down on the extension given to college campuses.

Advocates for the act say it will help protect people and students on college campuses by giving everyone something with which to defend themselves. Those against say college students cannot handle the responsibility of a firearm and that some will misuse the weapons as tools for intimidation and bullying. They believe it will not prevent school shootings and may lead to more accidental cases on campuses.

“I feel like it could be a good or bad thing depending on the circumstances involved,” said Tim Scheimann, freshman criminal justice major.

Scheimann said he could see it go either way depending on how well people use the law.

“There are going to be idiots in every situation, there are going to be [guns] used for the wrong thing, but on the good side, you have more protection,” Scheimann said. “It could make it more unlikely something is going to happen, but there are still people who are going to use it for the wrong reasons.”

Some students feel wary about their peers having concealed firearms on their person around campus.

“I support gun rights, but I don’t think college kids should be able to carry a gun … I don’t think college kids can handle [the responsibility],” said Hiram Hendrich, freshman.

“I think they should have to have a permit … I think if the police on campus are trained and armed well then there is no need for students to have guns,” said Jared Walton, freshman.

Washburn University Police Department is a fully trained police force committed to keeping our campus safe. Due to security reason, the department could not share their plan in the event of an active shooter, but stated that they do have one in place for that crisis situation.