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Government

Commission OKs Gun Storage Locker In Sedgwick County Courthouse

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Sedgwick County Commissioners voted Wednesday to build a gun locker inside the county courthouse for visitors to store their weapons.

Kansas law allows the concealed carry of firearms, but guns aren’t allowed in the Sedgwick County Courthouse--except for by law enforcement.

The gun locker will be built near the security check in the building's main entrance lobby. County facilities director Steve Claassen says the locker will be able to store up to 20 guns at once and include "reasonable protection against possible accidental discharges." The $64,000 project--which doesn't include plans for additional security staffing--will be funded with reserves from the county’s Capital Improvement Program.

Commissioner Richard Ranzau said the proposal is an issue of safety and of protecting the Constitution.

"We have an obligation to protect individual freedoms," he said.

Ranzau wasn't supportive of the cost, but said the commission has spent funds toward other public health and safety projects he didn't feel were necessary.

"How can we, on the one hand, say that we’ll spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on promoting positions and welfare and nanny state programs that don't work…but when it comes to protecting individual freedoms we’re not going to do that?” he said.

But Commissioner Dave Unruh said building a locker for people to store their weapons isn’t an essential government service.

“I personally don’t see the risk walking from your office or your car to the county courthouse when you know you can’t carry that weapon inside the courthouse," Unruh said.

The proposed amendment passed 3-2.

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Follow Nadya Faulx on Twitter @NadyaFaulx.

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