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Opinion

Opinion

Editorial: Gun law costly

May 16, 2013

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Is Lawrence going to be like Dodge City in the days of the O.K. Corral, or are our city’s public building entrances possibly going to resemble the screening areas for airline boarding?

Those appear to be the options facing local governments as they consider alternatives for complying with provisions of the state’s most recent changes in the law that enables citizens to carry concealed handguns.

The law no longer lets city or county buildings simply be posted with the “no gun” placards to make it illegal for anyone to bring a concealed firearm inside. The law, as changed by this year’s Legislature, says governments can post those placards only if the buildings have adequate security measures, like metal detectors and security officers, in place. Otherwise, citizens with licenses can carry their concealed weapons into the buildings.

Tuesday night, the City Commission exercised an option and will ask the attorney general for an exemption. If granted, the status quo would be maintained for a limited period of time. The law provides up to four years of exemptions, with certain provisions.

The annual cost to Lawrence taxpayers of operating one secured entrance to a public building is estimated at $84,000, after buying the metal detector. At least three city buildings are being considered for security systems; others are possibilities. The dollars add up quickly.

Officials are concerned about allowing armed citizens into some facilities and venues. City commissioners dislike the possibility of having firearms in City Commission meetings, where already a police officer is routinely on duty in case tempers flare or unruly behavior erupts.

The choice for local government officials across the state is not an easy one, but perhaps in today’s society security is the better option. Even so, it will be disappointing to shift resources from parks, streets and projects and organizations that benefit people to metal detectors and security screening.

Perhaps if enough local governments seek exemptions and complain about the changes in the law, the Legislature will re-evaluate the cost and consequences of its action. The public would value reconsideration and revisions based on facts, experience and the impact on the pocketbook.

Comments

SouthWestKs 11 months ago

Again Guys, They are not cops, so they do not need a cops training. You don't call a CC carrier to respond in place of a cop. By saying a CC carrier can't carry the same gun as cop, I assume that you would support a law that your car can't go as fast a Highway Patrol car. Plus open carry has been the law forever in Kansas. Lawrence is a open carry city also.

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SouthWestKs 11 months ago

boltzmann, CC holders are not cops. They do not need to be trained to the level of cops.

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oneeye_wilbur 11 months ago

The city has plenty of money and the county as well. Just look at the county. They gave away $5,000 to the Castle Tea Room for marketing and advertising? That is a sham at best. Wheover is running place cannot generate their own $5,000? Sounds like Libby Kriz's foundation is about tapped out!.

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Steven Gaudreau 11 months ago

I still have not gotten an answer on how the current law of a convicted felon owning a gun did not stop the recent Ottowa murders. THERE IS A LAW AGAINST CONVICTED FELONS OWNING GUNS AND YET, HE HAD ONE!!!.

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Mike Ford 11 months ago

man, crazy is surely popular today....

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boltzmann 11 months ago

Actually, my issue with it is not that I think that the CC holders are going to turn violent. I worry more about two things: 1) The way it stands now, if someone detects that someone on campus or in a public building has a gun, that in an of itself is cause for someone to report this, because that person should not have it on campus CC or not. Having a substantial population of legal carriers on the premises takes away this as probable cause. It will be much easier for someone up to no good to bring a gun because having a gun would no longer be a priori cause for suspicion. 2) I don't trust the current CC procedure to provide people with enough training to deal with crisis situations, if indeed a real shooter situation were to arise. I have no problem with CC as long as the training and acceptance standards are equivalent to what law enforcement officer would go through. That is currently not the case.

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coebam 11 months ago

"Is Lawrence going to be like Dodge City in the days of the O.K. Corral, or are our city’s public building entrances possibly going to resemble the screening areas for airline boarding?"

Sheer ignorance.

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fmrl 11 months ago

This is nothing but melodramatic posturing that will end up costing a lot of tax dollars.

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50YearResident 11 months ago

I am trying to understand why everyone thinks that now that the 8" plastic signs that says "NO GUNS ALLOWED" have been taken down, that the Concealed Carry Holders are suddenly going to turn violent and start shooting up the campus. The mind set seems to be that the signs were 100% effective and without them there will have to be metal detectors and guards at every door to do what those 8" plastic signs were doing. Can anyone please explain what has changed to cause this fear of attack from your friends and neighbors that may have a concealed carry license? Violence hasn't happened in the last 6 years, it is not going to happen now.

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skinny 11 months ago

The cost of living in a free country!!

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freeadvice 11 months ago

I'm sure a no gun placard will stop a person with criminal intent from entering a building! The only thing those placards CAN do is criminalize an honest citizen. CC permit holders are not a problem nor is someone who openly carry's a gun. I'll give the city some free advice, just make a new placard, criminals carrying a gun will be prosecuted. There, problem solved and no more cost than we have now.

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