What, insurance companies have a problem with school staff packing heat?

by David Safier

This falls into the "What could possibly go wrong?" category. It's something I've wondered about. If teachers and other staff members other than trained police personnel and hired campus security are allowed to carry guns and a staff member wounds or kills a student, or someone gets ahold of a staff member's gun and creates havoc, who's financially and legally liable? It looks like the EMC Insurance Cos. decided, "It ain't gonna be us."

The EMC Insurance Cos. insures 85 percent to 90 percent of all Kansas school districts and has refused to renew coverage for schools that permit teachers and custodians to carry concealed firearms on their campuses under the new law, which took effect July 1. It’s not a political decision, but a financial one based on the riskier climate it estimates would be created, the insurer said.

Other Kansas insurers are following suit. Insurance companies are in the business of assessing risk, and they're saying, putting guns in the hands of untrained staff is too risky. The Kansas state senator who advocated for the law doesn't agree.

“I’m not an insurance expert, but it’s hard for me to believe that if schools and other public buildings allow law-abiding citizens to carry that that increases risk — it’s news to me,” Knox said.

It looks like the school districts don't think arming staff is such a good idea. No Kansas school district has opted to let its staff carry.

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