County has more issues with new law

By Maura Wery

County officials dealt with more confusion over the new concealed carry regulations Thursday, this time related to signage and employees.

Public works director Leon Hobson and county counselor Clancy Holeman raised the issue of signage, saying temporary signage now in use would need to change once the official design is approved by the Kansas Attorney General’s office on Friday.

“I assume they are not going to change them in a substantial way,” Holeman said. He said a temporary sign could be printed from the Attorney General’s office website until the official window sticker signs are issued. According to the legislation, a building is not fully exempted unless a sign is posted at entrances.

Hobson asked the commission which buildings take priority for signs. Since all county buildings were added to the exemption list, technically they could all have signs placed in them, but Hobson questioned whether the commission wanted more public access areas, such as the Riley County Courthouse and office buildings, to have signs before the official stickers were printed and given to the county.

Commissioners Dave Lewis and Ron Wells agreed that the Riley County Courthouse, Riley County office buildings, the police department, the Carnegie building, the Riley County CPE building, Wharton Manner, the health department and Pawnee Mental Health should have the first priority for signage.

At the same time, commissioners agreed to discuss the matter further once commissioner Bob Boyd, who was not at Thursday’s meeting, returns.

Wells and Lewis also questioned what the exemption means for volunteer firefighters. Under Riley County Rural Fire Department rules, they are not allowed to bring concealed weapons to fire facilities.

But since they are not technically employees, it is not clear whether they would be prohibited under the exemption being requested. Wells and Lewis said they will talk to county fire chief Pat Collins about the issue, although they did not expect to focus on the topic until budget preparations are concluded.

Matters related to the general policy have to be resolved in time to put a safety plan in place by Jan. 1, 2014.

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