The Personal and Family Protection Act (Senate Substitute for House Bill 2052) permits the concealed carry of handguns in public buildings. NEKLS will be assisting libraries to make informed decisions as the exact impact of the law becomes clear. These are a few issues that libraries should be aware of now:
- The law took effect on July 1, 2013. Libraries may exempt their building from the law until January 1, 2014 by simply sending a letter to that effect to the Kansas Attorney General and the head of their local law enforcement agency. If they choose to do so libraries should file that letter immediately.
- If the library exempts its building, It must post new signs referencing the new law. Links to sample signs and regulations are provided below.
- By January 1, 2014 libraries will then have to choose one of these options:
1. To begin to allow concealed handguns on their premises after January 1, 2014 , in which case the library will be exempt from liability for any action by a person licensed to carry such concealed handgun. However, the law does not appear to provide any protection from liability for actions by a person not licensed to carry a concealed handgun.
2. To adopt adequate security measures, which means the use of electronic equipment and personnel at public entrances to detect and restrict the carrying of any weapons into the state or municipal building, including, but not limited to, metal detectors, metal detector wands or any other equipment used for similar purposes to ensure that weapons are not permitted to be carried into such building by members of the public.
3. To file a further exemption for a period of four years by filing a notice of exemption with the Attorney General and adoption of a security plan. Note: the security plan should not be filed with the Attorney General. It should only be provided upon request, but must be in place by January 1, 2014. A library that files such an exemption is not exempt from liability for any action by a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun.
Filing a Four-Year Exemption
The greatest amount of uncertainty is regarding the requirements and procedure for exempting the library building for a four year period beginning January 1, 2014. The following information from the Frequently Asked Questions document from the Kansas Attorney General should useful:
“These exemptions within Section 2 will enable exempted buildings to refrain from installing €œadequate security measures,€ if they choose, for a maximum of four and one-half years in some instances while still prohibiting concealed carry licensees from carrying handguns into the building.
On and after January 1, 2014, if you oversee a state or municipal building (again, as a governing body or, where no governing body exists, the chief administrative officer) … and it is determined that the four year exemption under 2(i) will be exercised, then you must:
– provide a letter of the exemption (via resolution or letter) to the Attorney General and law enforcement agency of local jurisdiction;- include a legal description of the building(s) being exempted;
– include the reasons for seeking the exemption; and
– include the following statement: A security plan has been developed for the building being exempted which supplies adequate security to the occupants of the building and merits the prohibition of the carrying of a concealed handgun as authorized by the personal and family protection act.
– Make a copy of the security plan(s) available to local law enforcement or the Attorney General’s office upon request. DO NOT mail a copy of the security plan to the Attorney General’s office with your four-year exemption letter.
There is no review process (for an exemption letter). Exemptions are not “granted” or “denied” as no authority to do so was provided in the statute. The Attorney General will return a file stamped copy of the exemption letter to acknowledge its receipt. If the exemption appears to be missing any
information (particularly with regard to the 2(i) four-year exemptions where more information is required), the Attorney General may include a letter of response which explains that the Attorney General’s office believes the exemption to be deficient.”
This document from the Attorney General also indicates that “adequate security” under an exemption is not the same as the “adequate security measures” contained in the law, and that there is no legal definition of “adequate security” for a security plan used for an exemption.
We are just beginning to understand the exact requirements and implications of this law. NEKLS will provide information and assistance to libraries in responding to this law. NEKLS recommends that libraries consider exemption from the concealed carry requirement until January 1, 2014 as described in the second paragraph above. That will provide time for the specific requirements of the law to become clear. Several resources are available now to assist libraries with this issue.
Regulations for Exemption for applications for the temporary exemption through January 1, 2014 are at http://ag.ks.gov/docs/default-source/documents/2013-concealed-carry-signage—proposed-temporary-regulations.pdf?sfvrsn=2
Sample signs which libraries must post if they claim exemption through January 1, 2014 are at http://ag.ks.gov/docs/default-source/documents/required-signage-for-exempted-state-or-municipal-buildings.pdf?sfvrsn=2. Signs must be identical to these.
Letter of Exemption: A sample letter to adapt for application for exemption through January 1, 2014: concealed carry exemption letter
Summary: A brief summary of the concealed carry bill is available online at http://www.kslegislature.org/
Full text of the bill is available at http://www.kslegislature.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding concealed carry from the Kansas Attorney General: http://ag.ks.gov/docs/default-source/documents/2013-concealed-carry-legislative-changes—faqs.pdf?sfvrsn=6