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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City to seek four-year exemption from state’s concealed carry law

December 7, 2013

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Lawrence city commissioners are set to take a simple vote Tuesday to keep concealed-carry permit holders from taking their weapons into city buildings for the next four years.

But after that, a vote to keep permit holders from taking their guns into City Hall, recreation centers and other such buildings stands to get more complicated.

"I think our strategy is going to have to be to work to change the administration of the state of Kansas," City Commissioner Bob Schumm said. "Hopefully, we can change the legislature and then change the legislation."

The 2013 Kansas Legislature passed a law that allows concealed-carry permit holders to take their weapons into most public buildings, unless the buildings are equipped with devices such as metal detectors and security guards.

But the state law includes a provision that allows cities and counties to apply for a four-year exemption from the law. City Manager David Corliss said the exemption is essentially automatically granted by the state's Attorney General, as long as the city can show it has a security plan in place for each building. At the moment, the state law doesn't allow for cities to apply for another exemption once the four-year period ends.

At their Tuesday meeting, commissioners will consider approving the ordinance to apply for the exemption. Corliss said a team from the city attorney's office, the police department and other city departments has developed a security plan for all city buildings open to the public.

Details of the security plan are not required to be released to the public. But Corliss said he does not expect any of the plans to require a significant expenditure in 2014. He also said he doesn't think it will require any major modifications in how the public accesses buildings, although Corliss said there could be modifications and expenditures in 2015.

Schumm said he's concerned that staffed metal detectors in the future could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for the city to operate, but he said he's not open to allowing concealed carry permit holders to take their weapons to city facilities.

"If you do that you are going to have a lot more guns in public buildings," Schumm said. "They'll be in sporting events, City Commission rooms, places where people get emotional and sometimes lose their cool. That's the problem."

Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday at City Hall.

Comments

Devon Kissinger 1 year ago

Let's see if I understand this. The city has no intention of complying with the law, only to subvert it for the next 4 years while "hoping" the law will somehow change more to their liking. That isn't a plan, that's more like making a wish and blowing out the candles.

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