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Four years ago, Kansas lawmakers passed a bill that favored concealed carry weapon carriers, allowing them to carry their weapons in many places. However, a four-year exemption was made for hospitals, mental facilities, nursing homes and other medical facilities. Unless they have had a security guard or metal detector, concealed carry weapons were not allowed. That exemption ends July 1, unless lawmakers take action to re-instate it.

Kansas legislators are facing a midsummer deadline to approve costly security upgrades for state hospitals and mental institutions in order to keep in place a four-year-old ban on concealed weapons inside the facilities.

While the conservative state frequently embraces pro-gun policies, this debate is unique. Even Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and GOP lawmakers who are strong supporters of concealed carry don’t want the exemption for hospitals to disappear, fearing the prospect of guns around mental patients or in areas with specialized equipment.

Absent a change in existing state law, universities, state and other public hospitals, mental health centers, some nursing homes and other facilities must allow concealed weapons in their buildings starting in July unless they provide “adequate” security such as guards or metal detectors…

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Kansas is a fairly conservative state that seems to value and protect gun rights, but the fear of a firearm getting into the hands of a mental patient or other patient under stress and not thinking right is spurring Republican lawmakers to favor re-instating the exemption on concealed carry at these specified locations. Most gun rights advocates are against the exemption. They only have one month left to take action. What will they do.

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