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City/County Building Gun Issue Still Unresolved

Karen Shade - April 18, 2017 5:10 pm

A decision on whether to secure all entrances at the City-County Building or take down the signs that prevent the carrying of concealed weapons on the first and second floors was tabled for another month.

City Commission Jon Blanchard said he wanted to get a consensus from his board and hold a public meeting.  He said this would help him “feel more confident” and know he was “doing the will of the people”.  The Building Authority is scheduled to meet next on May 16.  His motion passed unanimously.

County Commissioner Rodger Sparks commented that there has always been open carry (of weapons) in Kansas.  Court Administrator Todd Heitschmidt said that even though individuals can do open carry, he doesn’t see it very often.

Heitschmidt summarized what other entities are doing to comply with open carry requirements.

  • USD 305 schools use one entrance, where everyone checks in. Exit door alarms will sound if anyone holds the door open for too long a period of time.  There are no metal detectors and no bullet proof glass.
  • Bourbon County’s Fort Scott Court House is most similar. They use a hand wand to screen visitors to the court room.  They have taken down the signs that prohibit concealed carry.
  • Dodge City (Ford County), Garden City (Finney County), and McPherson (McPherson County) all have taken down the signs that prohibit concealed carry.

Of the approximately 150 individuals who work in the City County Building, 67 responded to a “concealed carry survey” distributed by Heitschmidt.