County commissioners take aim at new gun law

Conceal and Carry (KSN File Photo)
Conceal and Carry (KSN File Photo)

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WICHITA, Kansas — Sedgwick County Commissioners voted Wednesday to ask the state for a six month extension to study the law and figure out exactly what is required.

The new law comes from Senate bill 2052, and it allows concealed carry permit holders in Kansas to bring their concealed guns into public buildings.

And so far, county and city officials say 2052 is not a black and white law.

Certain buildings can be exempt.

“Our understanding of the legislation is that the short-term exemption provision was made,” says Steve Classen with Sedgwick County. “It’s to allow local governments six months time to internally process which additional buildings they will open up to conceal carry and in which buildings they will develop adequate security plans for.”

Adequate security plans is an area where there are some concerns. County commissioners voted to get a half-year exemption while the law is studied.

That includes getting the opinion of the attorney general, the entity tasked with enforcing the new law.

More than two dozen buildings are on the list to be exempt, and they include Intrust Bank Arena, the county jail and Judge Riddel Boys Ranch. Other buildings are being considered because, as sheriff’s officials told county commissioners, concealed guns can be a concern to law officers.

Richard Powell with the Sheriff’s office talked about the Offender Registration Unit.

“We have instances where we do make arrests out of the front lobby when people come in,” said Powell. “We take folks into custody. Our concern is a firearm being in there, even legally, on one of those people we may take into custody. Or a friend or family member that could become involved in, maybe, an emotional state or something like that. They may not like the fact that someone has been taken into custody in their presence. That concerns us.”

 

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