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Sedgwick County Commission will ask for six-month exemption from upcoming state conceal-carry law

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at 11:02 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, at 3:18 p.m.

Closed to concealed guns

Sedgwick County has asked that 19 buildings be exempt for six months from a new state law that allows concealed-carry handguns in municipal buildings.

• Sedgwick County Jail, 141 W. Elm

• Work Release Center, 701 W. Harry

• Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman

• Juvenile Detention Facility, 700 S. Hydraulic

• Adult Field Services, 905 N. Main

• Adult Residential/Sedgwick County Youth Program, 622 E. Central

• Judge Riddel Boys Ranch, 25331 W. 39th St. South, Goddard

• Juvenile Residential Facility, 881 S. Minnesota

• Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center, 700 S. Hydraulic

• Forensic Science Center, 1109 Minneapolis

• Addiction Treatment Services, 940 N. Waco

• Crisis Intervention Services, 934 N. Water

• Sedgwick County Offender Assessment Program, 1720 E. Morris

• Community Support Services, 1929 W. 21st St.

• Community Support Services Medical Clinic, 1969 W. 21st St.

• Transitional Housing Program, 731 Hunter

• Juvenile Field Services, 3803 E. Harry, Suite 125

• Pretrial Services/Drug Court, 3803 E. Harry, Suite 121

• Sheriff’s Office squad room, 830 Stilwell

Sedgwick County will ask that 19 buildings it owns or leases be exempt for six months from a new state law allowing concealed-carry handguns.

Commissioners voted 3-2 on Wednesday to ask for the exemption.

A law beginning July 1 allows concealed-carry permit holders to take handguns into public buildings, including courthouses, police stations and libraries, across the state. City and county governments can prohibit concealed carry in certain buildings as long as “adequate security measures,” as defined by the state law, are in place.

The six months will give cities and counties time to figure out how to provide security.

Commissioners considered 25 buildings for exemption, but a motion by board member Richard Ranzau whittled the list to 19. Commissioner Karl Peterjohn gave Ranzau a second, and Chairman Jim Skelton voted for it. Commissioners Tim Norton and Dave Unruh voted against the motion, saying they wanted to exempt all 25 buildings for the six-month time period.

The county had banned handguns at 27 of the buildings it owns or leases. Five — including the courthouse — meet the security requirements of the new law, so they will continue to not allow handguns.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office asked for three additional offices to be exempt from the new law: its offender registration unit, squad room, and property and evidence area. Commissioners voted to exempt the squad room but not the other areas.

Counties and cities can ask for a four-year exemption after the first of the year. Whether the county will is unknown. Part of what the county will study in the next six months is the cost of providing security at the exempted buildings.

The Wichita City Council voted 5-2 on Tuesday to seek a six-month exemption in some of its buildings.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is charged with considering the exemptions.

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com.

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