Politics & Government

$63,492 contract approved for gun locker enclosure in courthouse

This image, from a staff presentation in October, shows what a gun locker enclosure likely would look like at the Sedgwick County Courthouse.
This image, from a staff presentation in October, shows what a gun locker enclosure likely would look like at the Sedgwick County Courthouse. Courtesy image

Sedgwick County commissioners approved a contract worth $63,492 for a protective glass enclosure for gun lockers in the courthouse lobby downtown.

The county already owns 20 lockers that residents will be able to use to store their firearms when they go to the courthouse at 525 N. Main.

Commissioners voted 4-1 to contract with the lowest bidder, Specialty Contractors Inc., to build a bullet-resistant enclosure around the lockers. It would be in the northeast corner of the lobby.

$63,492 winning contract for courthouse lobby gun locker enclosure

Commissioner Jim Howell, who was active on firearms legislation in the Kansas House, said it was a one-time infrastructure expense.

“I’ve heard feedback from lawyers in this building that are anxious to get this done,” Howell said after the meeting. “They want the right to protect themselves when they step away from a secure building.”

They want the right to protect themselves when they step away from a secure building.

Jim Howell, Sedgwick County commissioner

Commissioners initially approved a $64,318 change to the county’s capital improvement program for the enclosure by a 3-2 vote in October.

Commission Chairman Dave Unruh was the only commissioner to vote against the contract on Wednesday. He said he hadn’t heard from people who want to store their guns at the courthouse.

“I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it helps us in any way,” Unruh said.

I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it helps us in any way.

Dave Unruh, Sedgwick County Commission chairman

Unruh said the introduction of gun lockers created a “certain amount of hazard” in the courthouse lobby.

“That’s why we’re having to put bulletproof glass,” he said.

Unruh said he wanted to explore ways to staff the gun locker area with more courthouse police at a later time.

The project could be expanded to 40 lockers if the county buys another set of lockers.

Daniel Salazar: 316-269-6791, @imdanielsalazar

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