During their meeting on May 10, the Bourbon County Commission discussed recent gun control changes and other bills passing through the state legislature that could bring changes to how public buildings handle security.
In recent weeks, the Kansas State Senate and House of Representatives have discussed and approved House Bill 2502, which includes allowing employees in public buildings—defined in the bill as “any portion of state or municipal building that is open to and accessible to the public,” though school buildings may be exempt—to carry weapons while on the job outside the building and in the community if they have their concealed carry permit.
This law would be added to others passed in just the past few years that allow visitors and employees to carry concealed weapons in public buildings if that building does not provide its own security such as through metal detectors or continuous armed security.
Bourbon County Commissioners knew they would need to provide such security if they wanted to prevent the carrying of weapons in the courthouse, but initially had until July 2017 to make a decision on that security. A decision may have to be made sooner if this current bill passes as it could be enforced as early as July 1, if signed by the governor.
“It will be something you’ll have to make a decision on in the future,” County Attorney Justin Meeks told the commissioners during that meeting May 10.
Commission Chairman Barbara Albright described the decision they face as an expensive one, since providing their own security would include adding employees as well as technology and equipment, whether they decide to add an armed guard or metal detectors.
Further detail on the house bill and other aspects it includes, such as allowing air guns on school campuses, can be seen at http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2015_16/measures/documents/summary_hb_2502_2016.pdf