By Jacquelyn Nelson
Beginning July 1, gun owners with conceal and carry permits will be allowed to bring firearms into Hesston City buildings.
During the Monday evening City Council meeting, Police Chief Doug Schroeder and City Administrator John Carder addressed the Council regarding new legislation that mandated gun owners be allowed to carry weapons if a city building did not have a security plan.
“Almost everyone agrees, except Sedgwick County, the cost is prohibitive to try. You’re going to have to have staff at every door, it would be like an airport to get in,” said Carder.
Carder said the statute raises concerns about armed city staff.
“We could deal with that in personnel policies. That’s debatable if it is legal or not. The court defines what a statute means. Someone could step in that door and within seconds licensed or not, if there’s a sign or not.
“I can understand Harvey County is concerned. They have district courts with felonies, not traffic tickets. I understand why that’s a concern. The protection we have is they can’t get into the offices without going through controlled area,” said Carder.
Councilman Brad Unruh asked if City Hall was only accessible through the front door.
“The door I use, and the fire door, you have to key it. That door, if someone comes in and they are mad about utility bill or whatever, this law isn’t going to protect us. We just remove sign to comply with the statute. From what I understand, the sheriff’s opinion is to ask for the six months and hope people come to their senses,” said Carder.
Councilman Pat Moore asked if it would be feasible for the City to ask for the extension, “Would it be worth waiting?”
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