The Leavenworth County Commission has approved a resolution to send to the Kansas attorney general that will allow the county to continue to exempt public buildings from a concealed carry law.
Commissioners approved the resolution Monday morning.
A state law that went into effect earlier this year requires cities and counties to allow concealed firearms in public buildings unless adequate security measures are in place.
The law applies only in cases in which people have valid permits to carry concealed firearms.
Buildings owned by the county government already are exempted from the law's requirements through Dec. 31.
Commissioners are sending the resolution to Attorney General Derek Schmidt to extend the exemption through the end of 2017.
The four-year exemption will allow the county to continue to prohibit concealed firearms in public buildings without the additional security measures in place.
Commission Chairman Bob Holland has said the county ultimately may allow people to carry concealed firearms in some of its buildings, but the additional exemption gives officials more time to study the facilities.
According to the resolution that was adopted Monday, the county has developed a plan for providing adequate security to its buildings. And, the commission will continue to review the plan as needed.
County Counselor David Van Parys said the security plan is intended to be a "living document."
Commissioner Dennis Bixby said something that is not included in the state law is a provision for exempting future county-owned buildings.
Van Parys said the county has to list the buildings that will be exempted in the information provided to the attorney general.
"You can't say, 'All county buildings,'" he said.
If the county constructs a building in the future, concealed firearms would have to be permitted inside the facility, Van Parys said.
He said the county could request the state Legislature amend the law to allow for the exemption of new buildings.
"We could request an attorney general opinion on that topic," he said.
Van Parys said the Attorney General's Office has to receive the resolution by 5 p.m. Dec. 31.
The resolution will be sent with a cover letter signed by Holland as well as an exhibit, or list of legal descriptions of the county buildings that will be exempt.
Page 2 of 2 -
Commissioners previously said 13 buildings will be exempt. But, Leavenworth County Administrator Pat Hurley said the actual number is 11, at least in terms of legal descriptions.
He said that's because an EMS station that is part of the county annex previously had been counted as a separate building. And, a noxious weed building and the county shop previously had been counted as separate structures, but they will be considered one property in the legal descriptions.
The list with the descriptions of property was not ready when commissioners met Monday morning.
Bixby said he would approve the resolution and cover letter, but he didn't want to approve the list until he had a chance to read it.
Commissioner Clyde Graeber made a motion to approve the resolution, subject to the inclusion of the list, as well as the letter.
The motion passed 2-1 with Bixby voting against it because he had not yet seen the list.
With passage of the motion, the list won't have to be brought back to the commission for additional approval, Hurley said.
Graeber said he's sure Hurley will review the list to make sure it is correct.
The Leavenworth City Commission has decided to allow people with permits to carry concealed firearms in municipal buildings beginning Jan. 1. City commissioners have cited the cost associated with implementing new security measures as a reason for the decision.
The city of Lansing also will be allowing people to carry concealed firearms into municipal buildings beginning in 2014, Lansing City Administrator Mike Smith has said.