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Archive for Saturday, March 6, 2004

Kansas City bans guns in city buildings

March 6, 2004

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— The City Council has banned anyone from carrying firearms into city buildings unless they are specifically authorized to do so.

The new ordinance, passed unanimously Thursday, is designed to keep both openly carried and concealed weapons -- even in cases where the owner has a permit -- out of city buildings.

"There are a lot of kooks out there," said Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Brooks, who introduced the ordinance. "This is very, very serious."

No concealed carry permits have been issued in Kansas City. But Missourians can still apply for and receive permits in other states and other Missouri counties. The city law prevents those people from bringing their weapons into municipal buildings.

Last week, the state Supreme Court issued a complex ruling on a challenge to the state's concealed guns law; it upheld the right of the Legislature to legalize concealed guns, but said the law could illegally impose new duties on sheriffs without properly compensating them for handling the permits.

Brooks was one of the plaintiffs who challenged the law.

Following the court's decision, Missouri Atty. Gen. Jay Nixon recommended counties wait to begin issuing permits until lawmakers could respond to the court ruling. A few sheriffs have begun issuing permits, but many others are waiting.

Meanwhile, other parts of the law are in effect, including provisions allowing concealed guns in vehicles without need of a permit and recognizing concealed-carry permits from other states.

The law allows Missourians age 23 and older to receive concealed gun licenses from their county sheriffs after passing firearms training courses, background checks and paying a fee of up to $100.

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