County may allow guns more places

People with concealed carry permits would be allowed to tote their guns inside a majority of locations where Sedgwick County does business under a proposal to be considered next week.

All of the buildings that the county owns or leases now have signs posted that guns aren't permitted inside.

That could change, though the buildings most familiar to residents, such as the Courthouse, will remain off-limits to weapons.

Under a proposal championed by Commissioner Richard Ranzau, guns with proper permits would be allowed for the public at most county offices, although employees still would not be allowed to carry a weapon to work.

The county owns or leases 84 different locations. County staff recommended allowing concealed-carry weapons at 45 and prohibiting them at 39. Commissioners took three locations off the list of 39, which means 48 locations would allow concealed-carry weapons.

The county would continue to prohibit weapons at the Courthouse, jail and other law enforcement facilities; Intrust Bank Arena; the Health Department; and Comcare, a community mental health facility, among other offices.

Guns would be allowed at the Kansas Pavilions and the Historic Courthouse, which houses the Election Office and human resources.

Ranzau said the county had not had any policy discussions since concealed carry passed in Kansas five years ago. The county prohibited guns in its buildings without a formal resolution to do so.

"We should have a reason for placing each one off-limits," Ranzau said.

Ranzau said he would have liked more locations to be open to concealed-carry weapons, but 57 percent "of the buildings are opened up to concealed carry, and I think that's a big improvement."

Ranzau has a concealed-carry license.

"I don't carry it (his gun) into here because I can't," he said at the Courthouse.

Melissa Wangemann, general counsel director of legislative services for the Kansas Association of Counties, said earlier that she wasn't aware of any counties that allowed guns to be carried into their buildings.