Wichita, Kansas – If Wichita city buildings do not have adequate security and screening, then conceal carry permits have to be honored. It’s a new Kansas law.
On Tuesday, the City of Wichita just said no to that new law, at least for now.
“I would like to spend some more time to make sure we have looked at this, explored all our options,” says council member Janet Miller.
And the city can do just that. The law itself comes from Senate Bill 2052. Municipalities can ask for a half-year exemption.
Miller is one of five on the council that voted for the city to get that six-month exemption from the law. Other council members who voted for the exemption say they want to study conceal carry of guns in city buildings before making any decisions on what Wichita will allow.
City lawyers gave direction to council members on what comes next.
“There is a two-step process that the council can take to exempt itself for up to four years,” says Wichita City attorney Sharon L. Dickgrafe. “This outlines what has to happen and would require staff to give the attorney general a list of buildings and why they want it and a security plan.”
The Kansas attorney general is tasked with upholding the law.
Dickgrafe explained that SB 2052 would require city staff to develop security plans for each building. The city has more than 250 buildings deemed public access.
Council members also heard from the public on the issue of allowing conceal carry in city buildings.
“Criminals, they don’t go through any type of training to use a gun,” said Wichita resident Craig Harms. “And they (criminals) carry guns whether they go by the law or not so I think that it is irrational to limit conceal-carry when criminals can just pick up a gun and they don’t care about the law.”
Mayor Carl Brewer said he does not think a one-time conceal carry class is adequate training for any Wichita resident to conceal and carry safely.
“Our military don’t even do that,” said Brewer. “And our police department don’t even do that.”
Brewer said in addition to possibly needing more training to responsibly conceal and carry, the issue needs more study. The council agreed.
The vote was 5-2 to ask the attorney general’s office for a half-year exemption on the law.