Conceal And Carry Issue Raises Heated Debate

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Wichita City Council will not to move forward on an item that would allow guns in some city owned buildings.

The issue came up at Tuesday's workshop meeting. Council member Michael O'Donnell said four members of the council wanted staff to study the conceal and carry law after Sedgwick County leaders approved a similar measure.

Wichita police did a presentation to the council showing highlighting Kansas' conceal and carry law, and exemptions.

Currently no one can carry a weapon into a city owned building, but police say the law does allow for guns in 111 locations including 82 parks and recreation locations, 19 fire department buildings, four public works and utilities buildings and six garages. Concealed and carry could be prohibited in 270 city owned buildings.

O'Donnell said he wants to protect the right to bear arms and believes the issue should move forward. The mayor and council member Lavonta Williams opposed his idea.

"One accident and I'm sorry won't be enough," said Mayor Carl Brewer.

Councilmember James Clendenin supports taking the issue to the public saying people are talking about it.

In the end the council decided to let individual council members take the conceal and carry issue to their district advisory boards if they wanted to. If the issue ever comes back to the council the mayor wants four town hall meetings held before any kind of vote is taken.

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