Local city and county governments are working toward a decision on the carrying of concealed weapons in public buildings.
This is the result of a state law passed last year, which restricts local governing bodies right to ban the carrying of weapons in public buildings. This also applies to employees, who will be allowed under the law to carry concealed weapons to work with them.
Most cities, counties, and local law enforcement officers oppose this method. They don’t want people carrying guns in places like courtrooms where emotions can run high and dangerous situations can develop.
The law was just one of many that swept the nation in the wake of recent school shootings that left many children dead.
It was dirty – if not masterful – marketing by the gun industry that convinced the public that the answer to gun violence is a greater number of people carrying and, of course, purchasing more weapons.
Cities and counties do have some options. Most applied for a short-term exemption, which runs out at the end of the year. They may choose to do nothing, and allow law-abiding citizens to carry weapons in public buildings.
If cities and counties choose to ban weapons, they will have to ensure that no weapons are in the buildings. This will require searches at the door, and personnel to do those searches. This will cost cities and counties – and you the taxpayer – a lot of money in order to keep guns out of public buildings. This would apply to most public buildings- of which the city of Wellington has 18. It does not yet apply to jails, schools or churches.
If cities and counties decide to ban weapons in public buildings, they may apply for another four-year exemption. This will allow them more time to plan and get set up for the searches.
At best, thisis an unfunded mandate. This means the state passes laws that require local governments to act, without providing the funding. Although this is a conservative measure, it does the very thing conservatives say they don‘t like - which is expanding government.
Although it is very rare, it is possible that a shooter could enter a public building and start shooting people. But having more people armed in order to take that person out does not seem like a rational argument.
A true conservative approach would be to allow local governments to do as they wish in this area as well as most other areas.