Few University of Kansas students use free gun storage



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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas is one of two universities in the state that provides storage for guns on campus, though only a handful of students use the service.

The Lawrence Journal World (http://bit.ly/21Jeg03 ) reports the university's Office of Public Safety has provided gun storage for students, faculty and staff living on campus since 2009.

University police Capt. James Anguiano says the free storage is aimed at hunters who want to bring their firearms to school, but are not allowed to keep the weapons in their on-campus residence halls or apartments. He says about four to five students per semester store their guns.

"A lot of our students that are from this area, they can go home, and they're usually hunting in their area," Anguiano said. "Sometimes we get students from out of state, from Texas, or sometimes the East Coast."

Anguiano says any student wanting to use the service must take their gun to the Kansas University Office of Public Safety and provide a government-issued photo ID, which is photocopied and kept with the weapon, and sign a log. Police check serial numbers to verify the gun is not stolen or connected to any crime. He says that the weapons are stored in a locker and only police have the key to the locker.

According to university police, the weapons must be transported in cases and the police will not store ammunition. Anguiano said he initiated and wrote the policy after seeing that a number of other schools, mostly in the Midwest, offered a similar service.

Emporia State University also provides gun storage for students for at least 10 years.

A new state law has set a schedule for opening public buildings to concealed carry of firearms, unless the building is secured with metal detectors and armed guards. Kansas public universities must allow concealed weapons on campus beginning July 1, 2017. The Kansas Board of Regents and individual universities are working on policies to implement the change.

Ed Howell, university police chief at Fort Hays, said one reason his office doesn't provide gun storage is liability. He said he has concerns with storing weapons in case someone should later use the gun to commit a crime.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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The Associated Press

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