Department of Revenue shooting prompts look into laws regarding guns in state buildings

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The shooting at the Department of Revenue and Taxation building Tuesday afternoon has KSN looking into laws regarding guns in state buildings.

Back in 2013, Governor Sam Brownback signed the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act into law. That law took effect in 2015.

It basically says any state or municipal buildings that don’t have adequate security, like metal detectors or security guards at every door, must allow concealed weapons.

Robert Choromanski, the Executive Director for the Kansas Organization of State Employees, says he’s spoken with employees who were working inside the building when the shooting happened.

“Our employees are very scared for their safety because there is no security at that building,” said Choromanski. “I talked to a lot of state employees who kind of wish they were back working at the Finney State Office Building, where they use to be at, where there was adequate security,” added Choromanksi.

The shooting has also gotten the attention of state lawmakers.

Democrat State Representative Jim Ward says the general rules of gun ownership apply at public buildings, like the Department of Revenue building.

However, Tuesday’s shooting, Ward says, raises concerns about the safety of employees who work at state buildings.

“There is any number of situations that could place employees at risk and that’s why we need to do a risk assessment to determine what is appropriate so that every state employee can feel they are in a safe work environment,” said Ward.

Kansas Secretary of Revenue Sam Williams says he met with his management team first thing Wednesday morning to discuss all the aspects of the incident that took place in Wichita.

“One of the items we have on our list is to review all our security procedures in our offices where we have both taxation and motor vehicle, we will in a very short amount of time come up with some good suggestions to improve our security,” said Williams.

KSN did reach out to Republican lawmakers to get their thoughts on this issue.

One Republican lawmaker KSN spoke with says the current location of the Department of Revenue building could be an issue.

They say figuring out if the building does have adequate security is something that needs to be looked into in the future.

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