Concealed Carry and Teaching FAQ
Many faculty members have raised questions about how the state’s concealed carry law might affect their classes. The Provost’s Office has created a website with answers to many questions. What follows are questions that relate specifically to teaching, classes, and classrooms.
There is no way to address every possible question in a list like this. Rather, it is intended to reflect some of the main concerns that instructors have raised about the new gun law. In addition to the resources on this page, we urge instructors to visit the section on inclusive teaching on the CTE website. It contains many additional resources for creating constructive approaches for difficult conversations.
No. By law, anyone 21 or older is allowed to carry a concealed weapon in most areas of campus. You may not prevent them from doing so or require them to tell you if they are carrying a weapon.
No. Office hours are considered open hours in most university buildings, so a student with a concealed weapon may enter.
There are more constructive approaches to handling such situations. University policy states that weapons must be concealed, so displaying a gun, even inadvertently, would violate that policy. In many cases, simply talking to the student privately and reminding them of the policy will take care of things. It is within your right to call Public Safety if you see a weapon, though.
You may certainly talk about the gun law in class. Discussing controversial topics is an important part of a university education. As with any controversial topic, though, you should use your position as an instructor to engage students and help them understand the subject matter. You may certainly explain your position, but you shouldn’t do so in a way that shuts down a conversation. That goes for all conversations about controversial topics. As an instructor, you should focus on helping students learn, not on pushing a political agenda. The inclusive teaching section of the CTE website offers information on how to handle difficult conversations.
As a private citizen, you have the right to speak out on any topic you choose. As a state employee, though, you may not use your position, work time or resources to pursue a political agenda.
Here’s one possible approach: Have the GTAs explain to students that most of us on campus have questions about the new law and about how it might affect the university. This isn’t the class to talk about guns, though, and doing so would take away class time we need to help everyone better understand course material.
Communicate with students in advance about such possibilities. Add a section to your syllabus and explain at the beginning of class the types of activities you will be doing. It is the weapon owner’s responsibility to keep the weapon concealed. If this sort of movement accidentally reveals a weapon, talk to the student and suggest that they make better arrangements in the future, though it is within your right to call campus security if you see a weapon.
Public Safety officers are making an effort to be more visible on campus, and there will be substations at both the Kansas Union and the Burge Union. Keep in mind, though, that universities in other states had few problems after concealed carry took effect there.
Maybe. Public Safety has a portable metal detector. Setting it up requires time and resources, though, so it might not always be available. You can also request that a non-uniformed officer be nearby during a potentially problematic meeting. Contact the Public Safety Office at its non-emergency number: 785-864-5900.