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Attorneys: Man didn’t break law carrying gun into school stadium

AUGUSTA, Kan. — Questions continued to be raised Tuesday about the discharge of the firearm at Hillier Stadium in Augusta during Sunday’s commencement exercise. Two people were injured, including the man carrying the gun.

Augusta police say the non-life-threatening injuries occurred when the man was moving his gun. Police say he had the gun stowed in his sock, rather than a protective holster. They report the man was repositioning it, because it was uncomfortable there. Police say it discharged,firing through his foot. Then bullet fragments struck and injured a woman several feet away in her leg.

The attorney for the Kansas Association of School Boards, Lori Church, said the best schools can do is to continue posting “no gun” signs at entrances of schools and school stadiums, to get the message across that guns aren’t welcome.

Church admitted the man who had the gun at Sunday’s graduation ceremonies at Hillier Stadium had a conceal carry permit, so he didn’t break a law by simply having the gun there.

“The only thing the school district can do is ask the person to leave the premises,” Church said. “It’s no longer a crime to carry where signs are posted, saying that you cannot have a concealed handgun. All we can do is ask them to leave.”

Wichita attorney Dan Monnat researched the law. “If a Kansan possesses a valid Kansas carry and conceal license, the person cannot be criminally prosecuted for carrying a firearm into a school building, a school stadium or on school grounds, under either state or federal law,” Monnat said. “Even if the school has posted that possession of firearms is prohibited.”

Monnat said it’s not relevant whether the stadium itself is considered a school building or not, on the question of the man breaking any laws by possessing the gun there.

“Every law you look at that might apply in this circumstance doesn’t apply,” Monnat explained, “because the same law exempts from its provisions someone who’s entitled by licensure law to possess a firearm.

“At most, such a person can be asked to leave posted premises or could be denied access,” Monnat added. “But the Kansas law specifically says a licensed person shall not be subject to criminal prosecution for carrying a firearm on posted premises of a school.”

School Board attorney Church said if schools recognize someone with a gun, ask them to leave and they don’t, then it may become a trespassing issue.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the incident was still under investigation and had not been presented to the Butler County Attorney to consider potential charges.

See full video at KAKE.com

KAKE TV – By Chris Frank