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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Commission sends letter to AG

  • The Leavenworth County Commission Thursday agreed to send a letter to the Kansas Attorney General asking for a temporary reprieve from new concealed carry requirements set to take effect next month.
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  • The Leavenworth County Commission Thursday agreed to send a letter to the Kansas Attorney General asking for a temporary reprieve from new concealed carry requirements set to take effect next month.
    During its most recent session, the Kansas Legislature passed a bill that prohibits most municipal governments from banning licensed concealed carry of firearms in public buildings unless they beef up electronic and personal security measures at each public entrance to those buildings. Currently, the county courthouse has signs at each entrance specifying that no weapons are to be carried in the building, a regulation dating to May 2012.
    “The law changes the parameters of your discretion to do so,” said County Counselor David Van Parys.
    However, the measure known as House Bill 2052 only affects licensed carriers of concealed weapons.
    “If you do not have a concealed carry permit and you are carrying a concealed weapon, you are violating the law, even after July 1,” Van Parys said.
    He said the commission, like the other entities affected by the law, has two options for stalling the implementation of the state requirements ― an exemption that gives the county until Jan. 1, 2014, to choose between the new security measures or allowing concealed carry in its buildings or a longer 4-year exemption, during which time the county would have to submit a detailed plan on how to implement the required security measures.
    “That includes electronic surveillance and personnel,” said County Administrator Pat Hurley.
    Hurley said in talking to his peers in other cities and counties he found that most of them are opting for the shorter-term of those two options, mostly because those governments need to make a decision before the law is implemented July 1 this year.
    The commission approved that option ― to delay implementation of either increased security measures or the law's provision's until Jan. 1, 2014. But, at least according to Commissioner Dennis Bixby, that doesn't mean that the commission is planning to establish the enhanced security measures required by the law for them to continue banning concealed carry.
    “Personally, I kind of like the idea of 30 to 40 law-abiding citizens who are packing to be here in case somebody does come in with the intent to do harm,” he said.
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