Originally published April 19, 2017 at 11:22a.m., updated April 19, 2017 at 06:17p.m.

KU gets OK to ban handguns from football, men’s basketball games; purses will also be banned

Fans file through the doors of Allen Fieldhouse past the statue of Phog Allen in this file photo from Monday, Oct. 27, 2014.

Fans file through the doors of Allen Fieldhouse past the statue of Phog Allen in this file photo from Monday, Oct. 27, 2014.


The University of Kansas has received formal approval to ban guns from games at Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium.

Metal detectors and guards would be put in place for men’s basketball and football games, primarily, but also to any other sporting event expected to draw more than 5,000 to the facilities, under a proposal approved Wednesday morning by the Kansas Board of Regents governance committee.

Kansas law requires state universities to allow concealed handguns on their campuses beginning July 1. The law allows exceptions for facilities where adequate security measures such as metal detectors and guards are set up — either permanently or temporarily — to ensure no one takes a gun inside.

Kansas Board of Regents policy further states that if this is done at athletic events, a notice must be printed on tickets that guns won’t be allowed in.

Kansas State and Wichita State universities also got approval to deploy security measures and ban guns from major sporting events, Regents spokeswoman Breeze Richardson said. The remaining Regents universities — Emporia State, Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State — did not request permission to do so.


Shredded newspaper and Jayhawk flags fly as Kansas fans prepare for tipoff against Oklahoma State on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Allowing the exceptions passed 4-1 in the Regents governance committee, with committee member Shane Bangerter voting against it.

“I don’t think that having adequate security measures at an event like that makes us any safer, or any less safe,” Bangerter said.

“It seems to me it’s a waste of resources and people’s time.”

Under the Regents weapons policy, only the governance committee, not the full board, needs to hear and approve requests to install security measures keeping guns out of buildings, Richardson said.

Capacity at Allen Fieldhouse — where a large percentage of fans squeeze side by side onto bench seats — is 16,300. Men’s basketball games currently are the only routine events there that draw crowds over 5,000.

Memorial Stadium's capacity is 50,000.

“It’s a good idea, I think, for that kind of large-scale public event,” KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said. “It provides a measure of safety for the participants.”

The Journal-World first reported in January that KU would seek approval for security measures at Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium.

Deputy athletics director Sean Lester said at that time it was estimated to cost more than $1 million, with funding coming from KU Athletics' operating budget.


Fans in the Kansas student section wave souvenir KU flags following a touchdown by Kansas wide receiver Tyler Patrick during the second quarter Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

For men’s basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse, expect wands and portable metal detectors to ensure no one gets in with a gun, Lester previously told the Journal-World. The number of entrances may need to be reduced, which could slow down the process of getting fans to their seats.

Security measures at Memorial Stadium will probably be similar, he said, but KU Athletics and the university are still working out details to deal with implementation in the “antiquated” facility with a myriad of entry points.

Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletic director for public affairs, said Wednesday that KU Athletics was not sharing any more specifics at this time.

The law and statewide Kansas Board of Regents weapons policy also allow universities to set up temporary security measures to ban guns from certain events. Lists of such events must be presented to the Regents governance committee.

The committee on Wednesday also heard requests from universities to ban guns from certain “restricted access areas,” which took place in executive session.

A list of such areas won’t be shared publicly, for safety and security reasons, campus and Regents officials said.

However, KU attorneys have said that areas beyond the lobby of on-campus child care centers — where only employees and parents are allowed, not the public — may be one such place. Parents would be pre-screened and told that guns aren’t allowed in the child care areas.

Another example might be the brain imaging center at the KU Medical Center. No metal objects of any kind are allowed around the multimillion dollar magnetic imaging equipment used there.

KU to ban purses from all ticketed sporting events, require clear plastic bags instead

Along with metal detectors at men’s basketball and football games, University of Kansas fans should brace for another new procedure at all ticketed KU sports events come fall: no more purses.

“We are going to a clear bag policy for all our ticketed events,” said Jim Marchiony, KU’s associate athletics director for public affairs. “Basically if it’s bigger than your hand, you’re going to have to bring those contents in a clear bag.”

The rule will apply to most KU sports, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball, Marchiony said.

Any nonclear bag larger than 8.5-by-5.5-inches (about the size of a small clutch) will be prohibited, Marchiony said. Instead fans may bring items in plastic bags up to 12-by-12-inches (about the size of a gallon freezer bag).

“We’re doing it for safety reasons and to have entry more expeditious than it is now,” Marchiony said. “Rather than having to dig through bags, which has been happening for a while ... clear bags of a specific size make the process more expeditious.”

KU has gained Kansas Board of Regents approval to set up metal detectors and ban concealed handguns from games expected to draw more than 5,000 fans to Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium. However, lawfully carried concealed handguns will be allowed at other campus buildings and sports events, under a Kansas law that takes effect July 1.

Marchiony said the list of other items fans can’t take into sports events — such as other weapons, alcohol, food and animals — will remain the same.


Harlan Hobbs 1 year, 2 months ago

Although I strongly support the 2nd Amendment, this seems prudent to me. I can think of no reason why a person would need to have a gun at these events.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

Unless Billy Packer walked in!! Only Kidding.

JESUS H. CHRIST!!!! This is just NOW being enacted???

i can imagine all kinds of situations whereby a crazy person could go ballistic against a ref, an opposing coach or player, one of our own guys, the mascot...anyone!!

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 2 months ago

I feel the same way. There should be enough law enforcement protection for these events to provide a decent margin for safety.

Andrew Whitehead 1 year, 2 months ago

This is the perfect illustration of the idiocy of the left when it comes to gun control. It not only drives up costs unnecessarily, it also creates inconvenience for everyone. Worst of all, it accomplishes the precise opposite result of the goal: it creates an easier target if someone actually wanted to commit a mass shooting. Now there will be larger crowds of people bottle-necked at the entrances, providing an easier target for a would-be mass shooter. I'm more upset over the inconvenience and added cost this will cause (you can get the $1M+ costs will be recovered through increased costs somewhere), but the irrationality of the policy is icing on the cake. Has anyone considered why almost every single mass shooting in our country has occurred in a gun free zone? Time to wake up.

Randy Bombardier 1 year, 2 months ago

Wow. I thought they already were. Agree with comment, Harlan.

Dyrk Dugan 1 year, 2 months ago

Complete and useless overreach. We need to check for guns at sporting events, because of new LAWFUL conceal/carry rules on campus? You folks that are for this do realize that we haven't been metal detected for weapons before; bags have been looked into, containers are examined....but now another layer is added, costs will go up, and for what? Someone before could have easily got a weapon through before; where was all this scrutiny and concern for safety then?

Len Shaffer 1 year, 2 months ago

You're absolutely right, Dyrk. Now that it's okay to allow concealed weapons on campus, why bother to check for a possibly crazy fan who might want to shoot a player.

Sheesh, the insanity of the NRA imbeciles never ends ...

Micky Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

You know that you have a problem in that you're a bigot.

Waylon Cook 1 year, 2 months ago

Len didn't agree with someone, so he calls them names. Just shocked he somehow didn't call you a racist.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 2 months ago

Sporting events have always been soft targets, and firearms have always been illegal in them. Metal detectors should have been in place long ago.

I think that the fact that there hasn't been a terrorist attack or mass killing inside a sporting event indicates that even the lax security that has always existed is a deterrent, and metal detectors is a needed improvement. But outside of these events continues to be a an easy target due to large crowds and no security measures (Paris bombing).

I am licensed to carry a handgun in the state of Texas and I choose to be armed whenever/wherever I can legally and practically. The Texas House of Reps is voting on a bill for constitutional carry and I hope it passes. The more law abiding gun owners who are arming themselves legally the better.

Danny Hernandez 1 year, 2 months ago

Still don't see the need to be armed 24/7! A it overkill but if makes you feel like BMOC, go right ahead. It's the ppl that legally own a gun who often shoot someone

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 2 months ago

I also wear my seatbelt every time I drive my car. Call me paranoid, but I'd rather be prepared.

Hopefully I never need to use either.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 2 months ago

No pursed!!!!! Yikes. That pretty much ends my day as a regular attending KU football and basketball games. It was a great 46 year run.

Brian Leiker 1 year, 2 months ago

Yet, all these NRA maniacs have yet to shoot anyone in all these years. Another liberal agenda pushed through at a public university. What happens when this so called NRA Maniac starts shooting 5000 people waiting in line? I for one hope a law abiding citizen is armed.

Andrew Whitehead 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you Brian. Everyone notice how almost every single mass shooting in our country the last 20+ years has been in a gun free zone? Wannabe psycho's target these spots because they are soft targets. And 90% of the time, what stops a bad person with a gun? A good person with a gun. These measures are a waste of time & money and will do nothing but create inconvenience and an easier potential target.

Randy Bombardier 1 year, 2 months ago

It's just a sign of the times we live in. No reflection on KU, students, or fans, liberal or conservative. Its about how getting thousands of people together in any venue attracts the unstable people who, for whatever reason, want to hurt others. Unfortunately no matter what measures are taken there are always ways to get around it so measures become a means of limiting legal liability to a very large degree.

I just hope it is not such a nuisance that even fewer fans turn out. That is not needed. It certainly is a pain at the airport nowadays.

Micky Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

At least at MCI, there is security for each gate so the lines are much shorter than the 2 hour plus long lines in some airports.

Robert Brock 1 year, 2 months ago

LOL. Leiker and Whitehead want 16,300 people bringing loaded weapons into Allen Fieldhouse.

Andrew Whitehead 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm not sure if you deliberately misconstrued our comments to the extreme, or if you genuinely lack the capacity to accurately comprehend our perspective. Either way, it's sad you didn't simply share your own opinion on the matter. Believe it or not, it is possible for adults to have a dialogue even if you hold opposing views. My primary complaint is the added cost and inconvenience this will cause. That would be one thing if it was actually necessary. It's just all the more frustrating to know that it won't make anyone safer.

Michael Sillman 1 year, 2 months ago

Accidental discharge in a crowded place is probably the greatest risk so I am all in favor of keeping guns out of Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium.

Rob Byrd 1 year, 1 month ago

Actually Danny, there's a much higher probability that the person that shoots someone, is an unlicensed, untrained, and illegal possessor of a firearm. But, I can think back on a situation where I'm glad a fan didn't have a gun, in Ames, when that nut went after HCBS. Considering the fact that sporting events haven't been targeted makes me wonder if the high levels of testosterone fueled guys aren't the soft targets that these mass shooters tend to look for, which could mean an early and painful end to their plans?! :-) As far as feeling like a bmoc, that's definitely not my motivation, rather the opportunity to protect myself, my loved ones, and/or any other innocent bystander caught in a desperate situation.

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