Wichita State gun case shows loophole in campus carry law

Kent’s Note: This story comes from the Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. — The case of a former Wichita State University student who was arrested for carrying a loaded gun on campus points to what could be an unintended loophole allowing criminals who are barred from carrying a gun to get away with it.

Under the current law, police can’t question someone carrying a firearm unless they suspect that person has committed another crime. This means police can’t check whether a person is actually armed or has a past conviction making it illegal to carry, the Wichita Eagle reported .

The Wichita State case began after a student reported that classmate John W. Bannon frequently carried a gun, claimed to be with Homeland Security, interrogated other students and used drugs, according to court documents. University officers confronted Bannon in 2013. He denied he was armed, but a search found he was carrying a handgun with 15 rounds of ammunition, court documents show.

The former student was later jailed for the gun charge and for making a criminal threat against an officer about a year later. Bannon’s lawyer tried to reduce his sentence in 2015 after the state passed a law making it legal for gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit. The lawyer’s request was rejected.

Bannon would have probably violated the current concealed-carry law when he was arrested because he had a misdemeanor conviction for domestic battery, said Democratic Rep. John Carmichael of Wichita, a lawyer and opponent of campus carry. But under current law, police wouldn’t have been allowed to investigate whether Bannon had a weapon in the first place unless they had reason to suspect him of another crime.

“Whether it’s at our universities, or whether it’s anywhere else in public on the streets or otherwise, law enforcement officers have no way to know whether someone carrying a firearm, concealed or unconcealed, is in fact someone (who’s) disqualified from carrying a firearm because of prior convictions,” Carmichael said. “At some point, we are going to have a tragedy arise because of that.”

Republican Rep. John Whitmer, who supports campus carry, said he’d be willing to help change the law to separate law-abiding gun owners from illegal gun carriers.


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  1. John Lloyd Scharf on

    Police can always require a search for weapons to protect themselves, according to the caselaw I read about a Terry Stop.They can do a stop for a “reasonable suspicion” which depends on the “totality of the circumstances,” which any officer can use creative writing to justify. Then, while they have you stopped, they can search you for their own safety. The search of the your outer garments, also known as a pat down, is limited to what is necessary to discover weapons. What they cannot do is look for drugs, but if your drugs pop out into plain view or they claim to smell it, then they can use the drugs as evidence.

    Obviously, I am always armed and I have a concealed handgun license. I do not have a concealed “weapon” permit, so I cannot conceal a long knife or switchblade.

    However, they do not need to search me to find out if I am armed because I will stipulate I am always armed and licensed to be. I suspect I had drugs for them to find, it would be suppressed because if I am licensed to carry, then they KNOW I am armed. The trick is, still, I could have a concealed weapon which is not legal to conceal. I would not want to test that gray area. It is all hypothetical, because I do not possess or use illicit or illegal drugs. Again, I do not want to test a grey area.

    The bottom line is, regardless of whether officers can convict someone of a crime, they do have the power, not right, to search you for weapons for their safety.

  2. Already had a tragedy. That Americans have been duped into thinking that they need permission to carry, a natural right. Permit? Don’t need one. All freemen have the RKBA.

  3. I’m curious to know how this case can be considered a “Loophole”.

    and no, in Oregon my CHP (Concealed Handgun Permit) specifically does OTallow me to carry a concealed knife. Not that I paid much attention to it .. the clip shows outside my trouser pocket … but what’s the point?

    (sorry … bad pun?

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