City council members have until the end of the year to decide whether to allow concealed weapons in public buildings. The state passed a law last year that allows concealed carry in public buildings such as courthouses and other city buildings.
Most cities around the state objected to the idea, and have grappled with how to handle the issue. The concern is safety and liability the city might incur with weapons in their buildings.
Wellington, and most cities around the state, got an exemption earlier this year that lasts until the end of this year.
The state law requires that cities either allow guns in their buildings or provide “adequate” security, meaning something like a metal detector to ensure no one has a gun. State lawmakers said it was intended to allow law abiding citizens to carry weapons to stop someone who was shooting inside a building.
Wellington city attorney Mike Brown called it an “unfunded mandate” at the meeting Tuesday.
If cities take the four-year exemption, they must have a plan in place for security for their buildings.
This would also apply to buildings such as public works, water departments and other city buildings.
The law would also allow city employees to carry concealed weapons at work.
City officials are not sure what it would cost to provide security instead of allowing weapons in their buildings.
They would have to install a screening system, or they could use hand held screening devices. The greater cost perhaps would be personnel to do the checks to every person entering a public building.