Archive for Monday, December 16, 2013

County to seek gun law exemption

December 16, 2013


Douglas County commissioners will vote Wednesday on resolutions to bar people from carrying weapons into the county courthouse or any other county building, and to exempt the county from a new state gun law that would otherwise require them to allow certain people to carry concealed weapons into the building.

The resolution provides for a four-year exemption on all county buildings, including the courthouse, the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, both the adult jail and the juvenile detention facility, Public Works Department facilities and all of the buildings at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

That would give the county until Dec. 31, 2017, to install security features on those buildings to prevent anyone from carrying weapons inside, which the new law requires in order for local governments to continue prohibiting people with valid permits from carrying concealed weapons into municipal buildings.

The new law does not apply to public schools. State colleges and universities were given until until 2017 to come into compliance.

Commissioners have met at least twice in closed-door executive session in recent weeks to discuss security plans for the buildings. The new law, however, exempts those plans from the Kansas Open Records Act and only requires local governments to make them available upon request to the Attorney General's Office and local law enforcement agencies.

"A security plan has been developed for the building being exempted which supplies adequate security to the occupants of the building and merits the prohibition of the carrying of a concealed handgun as authorized by the personal and family protection act," the resolution states.

Commissioners are also scheduled to meet again in executive session to continue discussing those plans.

Also Wednesday, commissioners will discuss the possibility of listing the courthouse on the city of Lawrence's Register of Historic Places to gain control over future development in the surrounding environs of the building.

The courthouse is already listed on both the state and national registers of historic places. In years past, those designations meant that any development within a 500-foot radius of the building had to be reviewed and approved by the state historic preservation officer.

But Kansas lawmakers changed that statute in 2013 by removing protection of the environs area.

Local developer Doug Compton has proposed building a multi-story residential and retail complex at 11th and Massachusetts, immediately north of the courthouse.

Commissioners will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the courthouse for the final scheduled meeting for 2013. Commissioners will not meet Wednesday, Dec. 25, or the following Wednesday, Jan. 1.

In other business, the commission will:

• Consider changing the county's permit fee schedule to allow for a single, flat inspection fee of $115 for stand-alone solar, thermal and photovoltaic energy installations.

• Consider authorizing staff to negotiate and finalize contracts with US Bank for banking and procurement card services, and FIS for merchant services.

• And consider approval of cereal malt beverage license for Clinton Marina, 1329 East 800 Road, and Clinton Submarina, 1329 East 800 Road.


Mark English 4 years, 5 months ago

Of course Douglas county is seeking an exemption. Let's keep the law abiding citizens that have lawfully applied for their conceal carry weapons out of anywhere. Makes perfect sense. All those criminals however, could give a hoot what sign you have on your front door.

Mark English 4 years, 5 months ago

Exactly Barbara, so what is the problem with the law abiding ones carrying? Since you think it is a non issue and all.

Bruce Bertsch 4 years, 5 months ago

If you feel the need to carry a weapon on your person everywhere you go, you have some serious issues that need to be dealt with. Law abiding or not, it defies common sense.

John Middleton 4 years, 5 months ago

Bruce, when you can tell me exactly when and where the next violent crime will be committed in Lawrence, I will take the necessary precautions to avoid that place at that time. Until you can do that reliably, I will be prepared to defend myself and my family members with my concealed weapon.

Julius Nolan 4 years, 5 months ago

Think Mr Bertsch stated exactly what most people with plain common sense think. The need to carry a gun everywhere you go is a serious issue normally associated with major paranoia.

Reid Hollander 4 years, 5 months ago

Isn't it just as paranoid to assume anyone with a gun is out to hurt you?

Joshua Cain 4 years, 5 months ago

"Think Mr Bertsch stated exactly what most people with plain common sense think. The need to carry a gun everywhere you go is a serious issue normally associated with major paranoia." - Julius Nolan

Julius, If I have been assaulted in the past with great bodily harm as a result...can I qualify for a conceal and carry? I mean...the police don't get to the scene of the crime until after it happens right?

Americans have the right to possess weapons in common use. If the citizens face the same threats that law enforcement do, then common sense would provide the same measure of threat deterrent.

Bob Smith 4 years, 5 months ago

I keep hearing the civilian disarmament people using the term "common sense". I do not think it means what they think it means.

Gary Anderson 4 years, 5 months ago

If you want to carry a weapon...go join a "well regulated militia" know, like the United States Constitution tells us to do. I did. I was proud to carry that weapon to defend that constitution. In a million years I would not carry a weapon as a civilian around the public...never.

David Reber 4 years, 5 months ago

As per the Kansas constitution, all able-bodied males age 18-45 belong to the state militia.

Sam Crow 4 years, 5 months ago

Gary, the courts disagree with you on what the constitution tells us what to do.

Joshua Cain 4 years, 5 months ago

Sadly Gary if you were part of any US armed conflict in the past 63+ years you were not defending the constitution.

Jonathan Fox 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm still dumbfounded by the fact that since this new state law requires that the no-gun signs be taken down, that now is when security features are added to these facilities. Why is it necessary to add security features now that law-abiding armed citizens are allowed to enter? As apposed to an actual criminal walking in with a weapon up until now? That is true paranoia.

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