To Avoid Negligent Security Claims, Universities Ban Guns at Games

Starting this summer, the three biggest universities in Kansas will be allowed to ban firearms at large sporting events. That’s thanks to a ruling by the Kansas Board of Regents’ governance committee, which approved the schools’ requests for this and other security measures, including:

  • Metal detectors;
  • Guards;
  • Cameras.

These measures could be installed either temporarily or permanently, on the school’s discretion.

Such actions can be construed as an effort by these schools to avoid liability on grounds of negligent security.

Negligent security is a type of premises liability that deals with civil redress for violence and criminal acts. While it might seem odd to hold third parties accountable for the crimes of another, it’s actually a fairly common cause of action when the owner of a property has failed to provide proper security, putting guests, tenants and customers at risk.

A person who is injured can file a lawsuit for negligent security in Wichita, Kansas if the landowner/ possessors of a property had a duty to offer reasonable security to protect lawful visitors from suffering foreseeable crimes of others. A claim of negligent security assumes that a crime was likely to have been prevented or at least made less likely had the property owner undertaken certain appropriate measures of security.

While it is possible to take legal action in civil court against the person who committed the violent crime, it’s generally easier for the victim to locate the owner/ possessor of a property and beyond that, the property owner is more likely to have an adequate amount of insurance against which a judgment may be enforced. That means you have an actual shot at recovering damages.

The move by universities in Kansas was spurred by a new law that will as of July 1st require them to allow concealed handguns on their campuses – unless they install both armed guards and metal detectors. Providing security throughout the campus would be cost-prohibitive, the universities say. However, providing such protections at games will at least allow them to quell rowdy and potentially violent interactions. School officials also noted the fact that these events draw large crowds.

The Kansas State Athletics Department is reportedly planning to spend approximately $1 million, according to ESPN. That money will primarily be spent protecting the venues for the upcoming football and basketball games. Approximately 70 metal detectors for those games are going to cost $450,000, and the rest will go to pay extra security.

Wichita State, meanwhile, plans to spend about $72,000 for 20 metal detectors, though a spokesman for the school was unsure how much it would cost to pay additional security staff.

The schools also said they would likely be paying for additional security at ceremonies for graduation.

Supporters of the new law had tried to bolster it this spring by taking away the schools’ right to make any regulations pertaining to where and how people can carry guns, but so far, that bill has not gained sufficient traction.

The question of what constitutes as “adequate security” may vary from case-to-case based on the type of venue and prior criminal incidents/ complaints. Some basic forms of security that are generally considered standard include:

  • Functioning locks;
  • Appropriate lighting;
  • Adequately-trained security/ patrols.

If you have been injured in a criminal attack on property owned by another, our injury lawyers can help you navigate your legal options.