A Kansas community college says the decision on whether to allow people to bring guns into campus buildings all comes down to money.
Like many schools, Cloud County Community College has a 4-year exemption from the new concealed carry law to come up with a security plan – but Vice President of Administrative Services, Bob Maxson, says putting in the adequate security comes at a price.
“The devices to control access, entry access, we would probably need 20 of those at our campuses, we’d have to cut down the number of entrances but that would provide us with a basic entrance in most of our locations, they’re about 6-thousand dollars apiece, so that’s 120-thousand in capital costs,” Maxson says.
Plus, each entrance requires a trained officer, “So we’re talking about 600-thousand dollars a year,” Maxson adds.
It’s money he says the school doesn’t have.
“I don’t know that this college can afford to say we’re not going to have concealed carry,” he says.
So in the next four years he anticipates the school will have no choice but to take the “exempt” signs down.
“If that’s going to happen, I would prefer to have somewhat of a control of that environment,” Maxson says.
Head of security for the school, Janet Eubank, says it would require significant changes.
“We’re going to want our officers to be armed just for safety’s sake and they currently aren’t, we don’t allow them to carry any kind of weapons, even mace or a stick or anything, so we will have to train them,” she says.
It’s a decision Maxson expects many schools will face.
“I do think it’s going to force community colleges and higher education institutions in general to make some choices that are difficult for them to make,” he says.
He adds that either decision would beef up the school’s security – but allowing concealed carry would likely save about $500,000 a year.
If the school does decide to allow concealed carry, it will also have to find a new insurance company. Its current company, EMC Insurance, says it will not insure any school that allows employees to carry concealed weapons on campus.