Will Insurers Help With Gun Safety Where Lawmakers Wouldn’t?

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A new Kansas law could let teachers carry concealed guns on campus. Insurers, and some local governments, aren't enthusiastic about it.

An insurance company representing 90 percent of Kansas schools is refusing to provide coverage to any that let teachers carry guns on campus.

EMC Insurance, along with two smaller insurers, isn’t playing politics, The Des Moines Register says. It’s a purely financial decision, and for EMC, a long-standing policy:

“We’ve been writing school business for almost 40 years, and one of the underwriting guidelines we follow for schools is that any on-site armed security should be provided by uniformed, qualified law enforcement officers,” said Mick Lovell, EMC’s vice president for business development. “Our guidelines have not recently changed.”

After the shooting that killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary, the National Rifle Association proposed that an armed officer be placed in every school. The Kansas Legislature went a few steps further, the Register says, passing a law that allows people with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons into any public building that doesn’t have a gun check process. It also decriminalized bringing concealed weapons into secured buildings. The penalty is now simply being removed from the building.

A Kansas school resource officer told The Washington Post he didn’t support teachers having concealed weapons. Police officers spend many hours training to use weapons, he said, and it goes much further than learning to aim.

He’s not the only one who doesn’t like guns around kids. “The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to reaffirm its long-standing policy that the safest homes for children are those without guns,” the Post notes.

Also, 10 percent of Kansas counties and municipalities have sent letters to the state requesting exemptions from the law, the Register says. So far, none of the state’s school districts have adopted a policy allowing guns on campus, it says.

What do you think? Should teachers be allowed to keep guns around children, or are insurers right that it would increase, rather than decrease, the risk of harm?

Stacy Johnson

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