Sedgwick County took a step this week toward placing gun lockers in its downtown courthouse lobby.
The county is asking contractors for bids to construct a ballistic-rated enclosure around gun lockers in the courthouse lobby at 525 N. Main. The county will vote on the contract in early February.
“Contractor will … construct an interior enclosure of ballistic rated glass and framing to house gun lockers,” according to the request, which was issued Tuesday. “The contractor will construct metal bases for the county-provided gun lockers and mount them on said bases.”
Bidders can meet in the courthouse lobby the morning of Jan. 17 to learn about the project from the county and the architect, Hanney & Associates Architects.
“Each bidder shall … visit the site to fully inform himself of the condition of the site and the conditions and limitations under which the work is to be performed,” according to the request.
Bidders are allowed submit questions to the county about the project until Jan. 23. Bids are due to the county Jan. 31.
Contractor will remove various existing panels of exterior glass in the Courthouse lobby and replace with ballistic rated glass and mullions. Contractor will also construct an interior enclosure of ballistic rated glass and framing to house gun lockers. Finally, the contractor will construct metal bases for the county provided gun lockers and mount them on said bases.
Sedgwick County request for lobby gun lockers project
The county’s bid board will recommend a vendor Feb. 2, according to a draft project schedule. The county commission could sign off on the contract Feb. 8.
The project would wall off an area of the courthouse lobby for 20 gun lockers. It would be located on the north side of the lobby between a pair of exit doors and a revolving entrance door.
The enclosure would feature new aluminum frames that match the look and design of the courthouse’s walls. The glass in the exterior wall would be removed and replaced with “ballistic rated glass and mullions,” according to the request.
In their October vote, commissioners Jim Howell and Richard Ranzau said the gun lockers would provide a way for people to store their concealed or open carry guns when they conduct business in the courthouse.
But some commissioners, including now-Chairman Dave Unruh, raised safety concerns and called gun lockers an unnecessary use of county funds.
New commissioners David Dennis and Michael O’Donnell, who won their elections in November, largely expressed support for courthouse lobby gun lockers during their campaigns.
“I’m convinced it would continue to find approval here so I’m not going to press a reconsideration,” Unruh said, adding he still opposes placing gun lockers in the lobby and has safety concerns.
The county’s courthouse police will monitor the gun lockers with existing staff. The county doesn’t plan to charge visitors to use the gun lockers.