Kent’s Note: This story comes from the Associated Press
LAWRENCE, Kan. — A Kansas lawmaker wants to make it a crime to abandon a firearm in a public place, a measure spurred in part by a scare on the University of Kansas campus.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Democratic Rep. Boog Highberger of Lawrence pre-filed the bill Dec. 28 for the legislative session that starts Monday.
In September, a KU student found a loaded handgun that had been left in a bathroom stall. Authorities determined the gun had been stolen.
During the 2017 legislative session, Rep. Willie Dove, a Republican from Bonner Springs, inadvertently left a loaded handgun in a committee room.
Highberger said his concern is college campuses.
“My understanding is we’re the only state in the country now that allows concealed-carry on campus without training or a permit, and I think that’s got a potential to cause some real problems, as we’ve already had at least one incident,” Highberger said.
A law that took effect July 1 allows handguns to be concealed and carried in virtually all government buildings, including college campus buildings.
Lawmakers passed a bill allowing health care facilities and hospital to ban concealed weapons.
The proposal would make it a misdemeanor to leave a firearm in a public place where it would be accessible to someone other than the owner. If the gun results in injury or death, the charge could be upgraded to a felony.
Republican House Majority Leader Don Hineman said it’s unlikely that more gun legislation will get serious consideration in 2018.
Rep. Vic Miller, a Democrat from Topeka, has introduced a bill to ban the possession of “bump stocks” or similar devices for semi-automatic weapons. Bump stocks make a semi-automatic weapon work like a fully automatic weapon. They were used in the mass shooting Oct. 1 in Las Vegas in which 58 people were killed.