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WSU Weapons Policy -- Frequently Asked Questions

Safety is the No. 1 priority at Wichita State University, and our goal is to work together to ensure that the entire campus community has the tools necessary to understand the law and how to maintain responsibility and personal safety. The leadership at Wichita State is devoted to a shared goal of students, faculty, staff, parents, industry partners and visitors in addressing concerns for safety while still respecting the right of individuals to carry a handgun as permitted by Kansas state law.

Regardless of viewpoint, individuals should treat each other with respect. Wichita State officials will not tolerate threatening use of concealed carry handguns or any other weapons.

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the new law and Wichita State's policy with respect to that law.  If you don't see your question here, please submit it to WSU administrators at wichita.edu/weaponsfeedback

What is happening to the WSU weapons policy on July 1, 2017?

On July 1, the university exemption of the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act expires, mandating that all state universities allow concealed carry of handguns and prohibit possession of other weapons and open carry of firearms.

What is the policy?

Handguns carried by individuals, whether on their person or in a carrier, must be secured in a holster that completely covers the trigger and the entire trigger guard area and that secures an external hammer in an un-cocked position through the use of a strap or by other means. Handguns with an external safety must be carried with the safety in the “on” position. The holster must have sufficient tension or grip on the handgun to retain it in the holster even when subjected to unexpected jostling. Semiautomatic handguns must be carried without a chambered round of ammunition. Revolvers must be carried with the hammer resting on an empty cylinder. Individuals lawfully possessing a handgun, pursuant to this policy, should keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times, maintain it within their exclusive and uninterrupted control and not brandish or intentionally display the handgun except when lawfully using the handgun in self-defense or when to transfer to safe storage.

Who is allowed to carry a concealed handgun?

Any individual 21 years of age or older who can lawfully carry a concealed handgun in Kansas. A license is not required to carry. Individuals lawfully possessing a handgun, pursuant to this policy, should keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times, maintain it within their immediate control and custody and not brandish or intentionally display the handgun except when lawfully using the handgun in self-defense or when to transfer to safe storage. This allows individuals to carry a handgun if it can be carried securely in a carrier, including but not limited to purses, backpacks, bags and briefcases designed and intended for the carrying of an individual’s personal items so long it is within the exclusive and uninterrupted control of the individual. This includes wearing the carrier with one or more straps consistent with the carrier’s design, carrying or holding the carrier, or placing the carrier next to, or within the immediate reach of, the individual at all times.  It is not lawful to carry a firearm when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Federal regulations prohibit individuals with a nonimmigrant visa from possessing or receiving firearms or ammunition.

What does "concealed" mean?

Individuals lawfully possessing a handgun, pursuant to this policy, should keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times, maintain it within their exclusive and uninterrupted control and not brandish or intentionally display the handgun except when lawfully using the handgun in self-defense or when to transfer to safe storage. This allows individuals to carry a handgun if it can be carried securely in a carrier, including but not limited to a purse, backpack, bag, briefcase or other similar personal carrier designed and intended for the carrying of an individual’s personal items so long it is within the immediate control and custody of the individual. This includes wearing the carrier with one or more straps consistent with the carrier’s design, carrying or holding the carrier, or placing the carrier next to, or within the immediate reach of, the individual at all times.

What are "adequate security measures"?

The term refers to the use of electronic equipment and armed personnel at public entrances to detect and restrict the carrying of any weapons into the state or municipal building, or any public area thereof, including, but not limited to, metal detectors, metal detector wands or any other equipment used for similar purposes to ensure that weapons are not permitted to be carried into such building by members of the public.

Where at WSU is concealed carry prohibited?

Individuals may not carry a concealed handgun in locations where the university provides adequate security measures. Concealed carry is also prohibited if individuals carrying a handgun do not keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times and maintain it within their immediate control and custody. WSU may designate a specific location as temporarily gun-free. An example would be at athletics or commencement events where attendance is more than 5,000. With the exception of law enforcement officers, no one may carry a firearm of any type beyond the lobby of the University Police Department.

Where at WSU is concealed carry allowed?

Concealed carry of handguns is allowed in all WSU buildings unless adequate security measures are provided at all public entrances to the space. Faculty and staff are not allowed to prohibit concealed carry of handguns in classrooms, labs or offices to which they are assigned (unless there are adequate security measures), and all students lawfully possessing a handgun are required to keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times, maintain it within their exclusive and uninterrupted control and not brandish or intentionally display the handgun except when lawfully using the handgun in self-defense or when to transfer to safe storage.

Is open carry allowed?

No. Open carry of handguns or other firearms will not be permitted at WSU. Anyone who sees an openly carried firearm on campus should call 911 immediately.

Is concealed carry allowed in residence halls or on-campus apartments?

Yes. Individuals lawfully possessing a handgun, pursuant to this policy, should keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times, maintain it within their immediate control and custody and not brandish or intentionally display the handgun except when lawfully using the handgun in self-defense or when to transfer to safe storage. When not on the person, concealed handguns should be stored in a secure storage device. Residents are responsible for acquiring their own approved handgun storage device.

What if a student doesn’t want to live in a residence hall or campus apartment with someone who possesses a handgun?

Contact the director of Housing and Residence Life and he can reassign the student to another room. 316-978-6612 or scott.jensen@wichita.edu.

Are secure storage devices available on campus?

Wichita State does not provide publicly available secure storage for concealed handguns. If you are required to take part in a class or activity that makes the ability to conceal your handgun impossible or where concealed handguns are not allowed, it is your responsibility to ensure you have the ability and time to securely store and conceal the firearm in your vehicle or in your residence prior to the class or activity.

What can individuals do to feel safe?

This is not a time for panic, but rather a time for awareness and education. It’s always suggested that members of the campus community practice personal safety techniques. That includes being aware at all times of your surroundings, programming the University Police Department’s number into your phone (316-978-3450), making note of the nearly two dozen emergency phones located around campus and downloading the Guardian Mobile Safety App to your phone. Wichita State is patrolled around the clock by university police, and anyone is welcome to call for a safety escort and auto assist. All commissioned officers of the University Police Department are required to complete 40 hours of continuing education training to maintain their certification through the KS Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (KS CPOST).

How can visitors, students, faculty or staff report a violation of policy or law?

In an emergency, he or she should get to a safe area and dial 911. Otherwise, the University Police Department should be notified of a suspected violation of this policy by telephone (316-978-3450), e-mail (police@wichita.edu), in person or in writing. Within a reasonable period of time after receiving such notification, UPD shall investigate the matter and report its factual findings to Human Resources if any employee is involved or the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (hereinafter referred to as Student Conduct) if a student is involved.

If it is a visitor, the UPD shall have the authority to handle the situation as deemed appropriate. Upon receipt of the factual findings, Human Resources or Student Conduct may conduct an independent investigation to determine if a policy violation has occurred. Any employee or student of the university who violates one or more provisions of this policy shall be subject to discipline in accordance with applicable university codes of conduct.

Any individual who violates one or more provisions of this policy may be issued a lawful directive to leave campus with the weapon immediately. Any individual who violates the directive shall be considered to be in trespass and may be cited accordingly. Any individual who violates state or federal law may be detained, arrested or otherwise subjected to lawful processes appropriate to the circumstances.

Have instructors, staff members and others in the WSU Community been educated on the new policy?

Yes, Wichita State has held 16 public forums educating the campus community about the concealed carry law. WSU has also communicated the changes through internal campus emails and has created a website laying out details of the state law and WSU policy.
 
Will gun safety training be available for interested students, faculty and staff?

There is a list of concealed carry handgun certified instructors at wichita.edu/weaponspolicy. The listed businesses are not endorsed nor certified by Wichita State, and there may be local training locations / instructors of which WSU is unaware. A list of all instructors certified by the state of Kansas and contact information is available on the Kansas Attorney General's website.

Can an instructor prohibit a student from having a concealed handgun in a class or lab?

No. Instructors can’t prohibit a student who is lawfully carrying a concealed handgun. It is the student’s responsibility to keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times, maintain it within their exclusive and uninterrupted control and not brandish or intentionally display the handgun except when lawfully using the handgun in self-defense or when to transfer to safe storage. However, Regents and WSU policy states that for times when class rules dictate that all carriers, including but not limited to purses, backpacks, bags and briefcases, are to be left unattended -- which removes the handgun from the individual’s exclusive and uninterrupted control -- the handgun must be holstered and completely concealed on their person, instead of in a carrier, before they arrive at the class. They are required to keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times and maintain it within their immediate control and custody.

Can an instructor require carriers, such as backpacks, bags purses and briefcases, to be stored separately from a student during a test or lab class?

Yes. KBOR and WSU policy states that for those instances where class rules dictate that all purses and backpacks have to be left unattended, university policies may require that individuals who want to carry a concealed carry handgun have it holstered on their person, instead of in their bag, before they arrive at the class.

Is concealed carry allowed in faculty or staff offices?

Yes, unless your building  has adequate security measures at all public entrances, faculty, staff, students and visitors can have a handgun in their possession in an office, provided they are lawfully able to possess a handgun and keep it completely concealed on or about their person at all times, maintaining it within their immediate control and custody. If a faculty or staff member who lawfully possesses a concealed handgun wishes to leave the handgun in his / her office, the weapon must be in an approved storage device in the office, regardless of whether the office door is locked. Refer to the WSU weapons policy for information on approved storage devices.

What if I don’t feel adequately educated on this new policy?

WSU has held a series of 16 public forums to educate the campus community on concealed carry. You may also go to wichita.edu/weaponspolicy to read the law and WSU policy and watch a video from a recent forum. The weapons policy website will be continuously kept updated, and there will be ongoing educational opportunities.

Where can I get more information?

Go to the WSU Weapons Policy website at wichita.edu/weaponspolicy.
 
What if I have questions?

Anyone with questions or comments about the policy can fill out the WSU weapons policy feedback form.