© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Survey Shows Big Majority Wants To Keep Guns Out Of Kansas Hospitals

KU Hospital

The University of Kansas Hospital today will go it alone in trying to get the Legislature to roll back a law that would allow almost anyone to carry a concealed gun in almost any public building.

The hospital is backing a bill(HB 2150) that carves out the facility in Kansas City, Kansas, even if lawmakers decide to let the concealed carry bill take effect on July 1. The measure does not carve out the adjoining KU Medical Center campus.

“We’ve had patients calling us already to see if we are allowing people to bring guns in," KU Hospital CEO Bob Page said in a statement.

Page said allowing guns in the hospital would put it at a competitive disadvantage. "We’ve got staff that are worried about what the environment will look like on July 1 should people be allowed to being guns into our organization,” he said.

To make its case, KU commissioned a survey that shows an overwhelming majority of respondents want to keep concealed guns out of hospitals. Eighty-two percent say mental health facilities should be able to prohibit guns, 72 percent say hospitals should be allowed to ban guns from their buildings and 66 percent say public colleges should be allowed to prohibit concealed firearms.

Five hundred registered voters were surveyed in Wyandotte, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Atchison counties in July. Two hundred had cell phones. The survey has a margin of error of 4.3 percent, according to KU Hospital.

Even 52 percent of respondents who described themselves as "base GOP" voters said hospitals should be allowed to ban guns in their facilities.

There's been a major effort by newly elected Republican moderates and Democrats in the Legislature to roll back the law passed four years ago but which takes effect in July. They suffered a setback Tuesday when a Senate committee failed to report out a rollback bill.

But an almost identical bill is moving through the House. Those who want to roll back concealed carry never thought getting the bills though committee would be easy. They're banking on maneuvering the measures onto the floors for votes. 

The Kansas State Rifle Association did not return a call seeking comment. But the group maintains that people who enter public buildings have the right to defend themselves with a firearm. 

Sam Zeff covers education and politics for KCUR and the Kansas News Service. He's also co-host of KCUR's political podcast Statehouse Blend Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @samzeff.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.