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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Water Department wants to allow concealed carry

  • The Leavenworth Water Department's buildings are included in a list of city-owned facilities that are exempt from new state concealed carry requirements.
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  • The Leavenworth Water Department's buildings are included in a list of city-owned facilities that are exempt from new state concealed carry requirements.
    But the Waterworks Board is asking that the Water Department's buildings be removed from the city's exemption list, according to John Kaufman, the department's general manager.
    Kaufman said the Water Department's buildings are, by law, owned in the city's name. But they're controlled by the Water Department, which has its own governing board.
    A new state law that went into effect July 1 requires the city government to allow people who have permits to carry concealed firearms into municipal buildings unless the buildings have what are considered adequate security measures.
    The city government was able to receive an exemption from the requirements through the end of the year by sending a letter to the Kansas Attorney General's Office.
    In the past, city officials were able to prohibit concealed firearms simply by posting signs at building entrances. Now that the city-owned buildings are exempt from the new law, modified signs have been posted.
    Kaufman said the Water Department received a directive to put up the new signs as part of the exemption, but the department had not previously posted signs to prohibit people from carrying concealed firearms.
    "We've never had those," he said.
    Based on a vote this week by the Waterworks Board, a letter is being drafted to request that the Water Department buildings be removed from the city's exemption list. The Waterworks Board's vote Monday was 4-1 in favor of this action. The dissenting vote was from Chairman Mike Bogner, according to Kaufman.
    In the meantime, the new signs prohibiting the concealed carry of firearms are in place at the Water Department's office in downtown Leavenworth as well as the department's two water plants.
    Kaufman said Water Department officials don't want people to go through metal detectors in order to pay their bills at the downtown office. He was making reference to the security measures that ultimately may be required by the new state law in order to prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms.
    He said the two water plants already are subject to homeland security regulations.
    "We have security gates at our plants," he said.
    There also are security cameras at the plants.

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