No guns in court

Judicial District policy will apply to entire courthouse

By Maura Wery

A new court order applying to the 21st judicial district will prohibit the carrying of any type of weapon into courtrooms here.

Riley County Counselor Clancy Holeman briefed county commissioners Thursday on the order, which was issued last month by administrative district Judge Meryl Wilson was following up on an order issued in June by the Kansas Supreme Court.

By prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons, the order makes a district policy of something that judges have long had discretion to do, and comes as officials debate how to comply with a new state law permitting the carrying of concealed weapons in most public buildings unless other security arrangements are made.

The order applies to the entire courthouse, including hallways and entrances as well as the courtrooms themselves.

Holeman said he found out about the court order when court officials came to the Public Works department to have their signage added to the existing signage provided by the county. Holeman said the court order wouldn’t interfere with the existing state law, but it will prohibit more than just firearms in the courtroom.

It will also apply to knives, switchblades and other types of weapons, and will permit judges to hold violators in contempt of court. 

Commissioners Ron Wells and Dave Lewis found no issue with the new signage.

Holeman said if anyone questioned the policy, it would be up to the courts to deal with it.

2014 budget approved

The 2014 Riley County budget was approved Thursday following a public hearing. Budget and finance officer Johnette Shepek said the budget totals around $44 million. It was approved along with 13 agency appropriations, which totaled around $1.5 million.

The budget will now head to the state for its approval. Officials expect the final mill levy to be set in October.

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