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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Wellington to post signs banning open carry in city buildings

  • The City of Wellington will put up signs banning the open carrying of weapons in city buildings. The state has prevented cities from banning concealed carry, but for the present anyway, they may ban open carry if proper signage is in place.
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  • By James Jordan
    The Wellington Daily News
    The City of Wellington  will put up signs banning the open carrying of weapons in city buildings. The state has prevented cities from banning concealed carry, but for the present anyway, they may ban open carry if proper signage is in place.
    On Tuesday night the city council voted 3-2 to place the signs after it was requested by police chief Tracy Heath.
    Police Chief Tracy Heath said city employees have said they would feel safer with the signs.
    He told the council there is no penalty for violating the ban.
    “If someone is asked to leave because they have a weapon, and they refuse to leave, they can be charged with trespassing,” Heath said. If that person is asked to leave, and they do, there is no violation.
    There was a recent incident where a citizen came to city hall with a weapon, but there was no incident, Heath said.
    Heath said it has always been legal to openly carry weapons in Kansas, but it seems it was not well known. It was made more public during the recent state legislative session. The state may also prevent cities from banning open carry in the future.
    This does not apply to private businesses, who may do as they wish with open or concealed carry.
    Council member John Tracy said a sign is not going to prevent someone who has bad intentions from entering a building with a weapon.
    “I am concerned about a false sense of security,” he added.
    Acting city manager Shane Shields said some employees would like to prohibit all weapons, but since they cannot
    prohibit concealed weapons, they would like to have this in place.
    Heath said a sign won’t stop people, “but it will give employees a little piece of mind. Not much, but a little.”
    Council member Vince Wetta said he would support it for employees piece of mind, but doubted it would make much difference.
    The council also talked about having a plan in place, and some training, for what to do if a person with bad intentions enters the building with a weapon.
     

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