With a deadline approaching, the Leavenworth County Commission will soon be required to make a decision about how to proceed regarding a state concealed carry law.
The law requires cities and counties to allow people to carry concealed firearms into public buildings unless security measures are in place. People carrying concealed weapons must have valid permits.
The law went into effect in July, but Leavenworth County is exempt through the end of the year. The county can seek an additional four-year exemption, but has to provide the state a plan for implementing security measures.
Commissioners discussed the issue Monday morning but took no formal action.
Commission Chairman Bob Holland said he asked fellow commissioners to review information they've been presented. He said he would like the commission to take up the matter again Dec. 23.
"We have to do it before Dec. 31," he said.
Holland said if commissioners decide to implement new security measures, they likely will focus on new measures at the Leavenworth County Courthouse, as well as keeping security in place at the Justice Center.
"My big concerns are those two buildings," the chairman said.
Holland said he believes such security measures initially would cost $300,000, but there would be continuing costs associated with personnel.
"We're looking at the cost of it long term," he said.
Holland said there is a proposal for moving civilian security officers who currently work at the Justice Center to the Courthouse and have armed Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office deputies take over security at the Justice Center.
Last week, the Leavenworth City Commission voted to allow properly licensed people to carry concealed firearms in municipal buildings beginning Jan. 1.
City Commissioner Lisa Weakly said meeting the necessary security standards required by the law would have been cost prohibitive for the city.
Lansing City Administrator Mike Smith said he believes members of the Lansing City Council don't favor implementing such security measures in city buildings because of the expense, either.
Holland said Leavenworth County is facing the possible loss of revenue from a mortgage registration fee.
The Kansas Bankers Association and Kansas Association of Realtors are supporting legislation at the state level to eliminate the fee.
Leavenworth County officials have said the fee elimination would result in a loss in county revenue of about $1 million per year.
Holland also said officials at this point don't know if a countywide sales tax that expires at the end of 2016 will be renewed by voters.
"It's something for us to think about financially down the road," he said.