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Tuesday, 10 December 2013 22:57

City of Lawrence now exempt from new concealed carry law until 2018

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At Tuesday night's Lawrence City Commission meeting, the commission voted 5 -0 to adopt a resolution to exempt certain city buildings from House Bill 2052.

"Basically what the law says is that municipalities cannot prohibit concealed carry permit holders from bringing fire arms into city buildings," said Maria Kaminska, Assistant City Attorney in Lawrence.

The law states that if cities take the appropriate steps to provide security in those buildings, they can stop the public from carrying concealed weapons into the buildings, even if they have a concealed carry permit. That could be costly for the city, so the city considers another option.

"The law provides an exception for cities. It is four years long and basically says that cities can have a four year exemption from the law," said Kaminska.

The exemption would leave everything just like it was before the new law, with guns not allowed in city buildings period. However, some are not ok with the proposed delay and the plan overall.

"We don't know if that will cost anything and as a tax payer I'm interested in that. Are they planning on spending more money over the next four years? And if I come to this building on January 1st and I can't bring in my handgun, am I going to be safer with this plan?" asked Patrick Wilbur, a member of the Douglas County Libertarians.

Some even argue that concealed permit carriers are the safest population and nothing should be done to infringe on their carrying rights.

"It sounded like the people were going to go run the street and have a shootout at the ok corral and we have a lot of evidence that suggests that concealed carry owners are actually a safer population than the general population," said Wilbur.

City Manager Dave Corliss said there are no plans to spend money to increase security in city buildings within the next year as of yet. The commission must now notify the Kansas Attorney General of their decision to be exempt from the law until 2018.